Arsenal are ready and willing to activate the release clause of Sporting CP winger Joelson Fernandes, according to reports in Portugal.

Joelson Fernandes with Sporting CP (Photo via Fernandes on Instagram)
Joelson Fernandes with Sporting CP (Photo via Fernandes on Instagram)

A Bola claim Arsenal are ready to activate Joelson Fernandes’ €45m release clause this summer. They write that the offer is ‘imminent’ and would leave Sporting no room to wriggle out of the deal, as the clause is binding until 2022.

Barcelona and Juventus are also on the market for the young winger. Sporting are trying to extend his contract, hoping to increase his release clause from €45m to €100m.

Despite his age (he only turned 17 in February), Fernandes is starting to break into the Sporting senior side. He made his debut earlier this month, before coming off the bench for two further appearances.

There are certainly reasons to be suspicious of this deal, however. For a start, Fernandes’ agent is Kia Joorabchian. It’s very possible he’s using his Arsenal connection to get the player’s name out there, or to get a better contract offer from Sporting.

It’s just as possible the Portuguese media are using the Joorabchian-Arsenal connection as a way to sell the story.

Additionally, Arteta appears to be focusing on midfielders and centre-backs right now. Signing a talented teenage winger is nice, but not what we’d expect Arsenal to do with their small budget.