According to the latest reports from the Portuguese outlet A Bola, Arsenal are pushing for the transfer of Sporting Lisbon’s 17-year-old sensation, Joelson Fernandes.
The youngster also has a release clause that’s apparently worth €45m (£41m) and the Gunners would activate that to bring him to the Emirates soon.
In fact, the same report states that Arsenal‘s top brass will fly over to Portugal between Monday and Tuesday in order to close out the deal. And precisely because of that, Fernandes has been excluded from the squad for the derby against Benfica. If all of that adds up, it seems that Mikel Arteta could be getting a brand new wonderkind sooner rather than later to go along other potential acquisitions in the summer.
Fernandes has scored five goals in 28 games during his breakout season and since he shares a similar path through Sporting’s academy to his fellow countryman Cristiano Ronaldo, he has already been dubbed the ‘new Ronaldo’ by the media. Of course, such a comparison is surely flattering but it also puts a lot of pressure on his young shoulders.
Speaking about the comparisons and the transfer, he said, as quoted by Express: “It is true that being compared to these players puts a little extra pressure on me. I try to follow their example and play the best I can in each game. I did not look at that alleged interest very much, I am happy where I am and fighting to achieve my dream, which is to play for Sporting’s first team”
Either way, it seems he won’t be at Sporting for much longer and could instead don the Gunners’ colours in the near future.
A Bola mention that Sporting were initially asking for a sum around €100m (£90.4m) and then €80m (£72.3m), suggesting they truly value the 17-year-old a lot. However, with the release clause, Arsenal could very well get a huge discount and still land one of the players of tomorrow.
He may be extremely young but if groomed properly, something Arteta should definitely be able to do, the Gunners could be looking at a huge, huge prospect for the squad in the near future.