Liverpool lead race to sign £25million Arsenal target in January

Arsenal are set to battle Liverpool for the signature of Sporting Lisbon star William Carvalho in the January transfer window, according to reports from the Metro.

Carvalho has been heavily linked with a move away from the Estadio Jose Alvalade during the summer, with the likes of Manchester United and Real Madrid both keen on the Portugal international.

However, Italian reports have suggested that it is the Reds that are leading the chase to secure his services, with a January bid being prepared by the Merseyside club.

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The Gunners are also now upping their interest after seeing star defensive midfielder Francis Coquelin injure himself in their 2-0 loss to Chelsea, which could force manager Arsene Wenger to mount his own offer for Carvalho after the New Year.

The 23-year-old was unable to leave Sporting in the summer due to an injury in his tibia, but should be at full fitness in the coming weeks.

Carvalho, who has a release clause of £25million, made 42 appearances in all competitions last season, scoring one goal.