Arsenal in pole position to sign 17-year-old Liga NOS winger

The London giants are ready to offer a player plus cash for Sporting Lisbon winger Joelson Fernandes, reports say. U17 Portugal international is attracting attention from big teams and is the latest forward to emerge from the Lions’ renowned youth ranks, which produced Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani and Ricardo Quaresma.

Joelson has a £40m release clause, but the London giants are keen to avoid paying that figure and will offer to lower the asking price by offering one of their footballers in part exchange. Gunners have a host of footballers up for grabs this summer including midfielders Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles and a host of full-backs are also in the shop window, but any deal for Fernandes is likely to include a youth footballer on the fringes of the senior squad. Borussia Dortmund and Juventus are providing contest for the 17-year-old winger’s signature, but the Gunners are leading the battle for the attacker.

The Spanish manager is eager to bolster his forward options and the Gunners are on the verge of finalising a deal with ex-Chelsea attacker Willian. The Portuguese forward will be marked down as one for the future, while Willian will be expected to go straight into Mikel Arteta’s starting eleven.

Mikel Arteta likes what he has seen from Joelson so far and thinks he would boost the youth ranks in his senior team. The Spanish manager has big plans for the summer transfer window, but his efforts are being restricted by the London giants budget. The covid-19 pandemic has had a big impact on the club’s finances.