ARSENAL are close to finalising a summer deal for Sporting Lisbon striker Tiago Tomas.
SunSport understands that Gunners technical director Edu has been in direct contact with Sporting Lisbon director of football Hugo Viana over the deal.
The 18-year-old signed a new five-year contract with the Portuguese giants in June 2020 with a release clause of £52m.
However, due to the current economic climate and Sporting’s spending in recent years, it is understood the club may accept a deal as low as £20m.
Edu and manager Mikel Arteta were impressed by Tomas while watching Sporting vs Benfica earlier this month ahead of Arsenal’s Europa League clash with the latter next week.
And in discussion with Viana, former Gunners midfielder Edu is believed to have made it clear they do not want to regret missing out on such a player in the future.
Arsene Wenger famously came agonisingly close to signing Cristiano Ronaldo from Sporting before his move to Manchester United.
Arsenal do not want to make the same mistake again.
Tomas spent six years in the Sporting academy before signing a mega senior contract last summer, such is his reputation as a future star in the making.
He made his debut in July, and grabbed his first senior goal against Aberdeen in the Europa League third qualifying round.
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In the league he has two goals and an assist in eight league starts.
That has helped Sporting into top spot in the Portuguese top flight.
He has also represented Portugal at U17, U18 and U19 levels.
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