Arsenal are in ‘pole position’ to sign Joelson Fernandes this summer with the club already in talks over a transfer, according to reports.
With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang yet to commit his future to the club Arsenal are wasting no time in looking for replacements.
Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Chelsea in today’s FA Cup final courtesy of an Aubameyang brace means the Gunners will have European football next term – something the Gabon international is desperate to be a part of.
But it seems Arsenal are already taking the necessary steps in case their prized asset does leave for a club who can offer Champions League football.
According to Portuguese newspaper O Jogo, Arsenal have sent officials to Lisbon to negotiate a deal for highly-rated winger Fernandes.
The 17-year-old has been linked with a switch to north London as he is yet to agree a new contract with Sporting.
Fernandes’ current deal is said to have a release clause of £40m but the report claims he could be available for between €15m (£13.5m) and €20m (£18m).
Pierre-Emerick Aubamyeang’s Arsenal future remains uncertain
Most of his appearances last season came for Sporting U23, where he scored five goals and provided two assists in 28 appearances.
While Fernandes predominantly plays as a winger it remains to be seen if Mikel Arteta could play him as a striker if Aubameyang departs and they can agree a fee with Sporting.
Alternatively, Arteta could look to make Eddie Nketiah, Alexandre Lacazette or Gabriel Martinelli as his main striker with Fernandes playing on the wing.
But there’s no doubt in Arsenal legend Ian Wright’s mind that regardless of the talent his former club are being linked with, the priority should be keeping Aubameyang – although he can’t be blamed for leaving if does decide not to sign a new deal.
Arsenal are ready to make their move for highly-rated teenager Joelson Fernandes