Arsene Wenger prepared to meet asking price for Carvalho

After months of waiting, Arsene Wenger could finally be about to get his man. He has been chasing Sporting Lisbon and Portugal holding midfielder, William Carvalho for well over a year.

Arsenal, odds-on at 2/5 with Coral for a top four finish, were thought to have been quoted Carvalho’s apparent release clause then, of £37.5m, though it seems the Portuguese outfit could be swayed into accepting £20m for the player in January.

This is thought to be about the extent of Arsenal’s planned winter window budget, plus any revenue from player sales, however it would be terrific value for money, with the Gunners crying out for an out-and-out defensive midfielder.

Carvalho represented Portugal at the World Cup in the summer, and showed beyond any doubt that he is a class act. Although he was unable to prevent his nation from exiting at the group stage, when he featured the 22-year-old exemplified all the traits of a modern day holding player.

Blessed with an ability to read the pattern of play and cut out passes, he is robust in the tackle, quick, and calm in possession. Almost Claude Makelele-like.

Far from the finished product however, he is a rough diamond, who Wenger can mould into the next Patrick Vieira, and the player certainly seems to have the desire and hunger to improve, as seen in Brazil last summer.

At the minute, the club have Mikel Arteta, Abou Diaby and Mathieu Flamini assigned to defensive midfield roles, though their contracts are set to expire in the summer, and Wenger may feel he has to take action in January.

The Frenchman has previously said that his team lack a physical presence in midfield, and Carvalho would be able to slot straight in, alongside currently injured trio Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil when they return to fitness.