Arsenal representatives are in Lisbon aiming to finalise a transfer for Joelson Fernandes, according to reports in Portugal.
Portuguese outlet A Bola reported on Monday that Arsenal representatives were trying to close a deal for Joelson Fernandes on Monday or Tuesday. They were working closely with Kia Joorabchian, who represents the teenager.
A Bola claim Arsenal are willing to pay the player’s €45m release clause. They’re looking to secure his signature ahead of Barcelona and Juventus.
This does seem more than a little unlikely. Firstly, I don’t know where Arsenal are finding €45m for a 17-year-old in the current market. Secondly, if they’re activating his release clause, they presumably don’t have a huge amount of negotiating to do.
Still, it’s worth covering the claims, because A Bola seem to have so much certainty that this is a pivotal few days for the potential signing. If they’re right about that, at least, it’s going to be one to keep an eye on this week.
Admittedly, it is interesting that Joelson made seven consecutive Sporting CP senior squads, coming off the bench in four of the last five of those games, before suddenly dropping out of the squad completely over the weekend.
Perhaps it was just a case of taking him out of the limelight with all the speculation. Maybe they preferred to name a more experienced squad against second-placed Benfica. But it’s also possible they’re leaving him out because he really is in negotiations with Arsenal.
If A Bola start rapidly backtracking on their claims in the next few days, we can safely assume they got it wrong.