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Arsenal close to completing transfer deal for Sporting Lisbon starlet Tiago Tomas


Tiago Tomas looks set to join Arsenal this summer (Picture: Getty)

Arsenal are reportedly closing in on an agreement to land Sporting Lisbon wonderkid Tiago Tomas in the summer transfer window.

Tomas, 18, caught the attention of Edu and Mikel Arteta while the pair watched over Sporting’s recent clash with Primeira Liga rivals Benfica, who the Gunners face in the Europa League round of 32 this month.

The Portugal Under-19 international broke into Sporting’s first-team last season and has established himself as a regular in Ruben Amorim’s side this term, scoring four goals in all competitions.

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According to The Sun, Arsenal technical director Edu was so impressed with Tomas that Sporting’s director of football, Hugo Viana, was approached shortly after the game to discuss a possible deal.

The report suggests talks have reached an advanced stage and Sporting would be willing to consider a cut-price fee of £20million for Tomas’ signature, despite an eye-watering £52m release clause being inserted the new contract he signed in June 2020.

The Portuguese league leaders have been hit hard financially by the coronavirus pandemic and Tomas’ sale would help balance the books.

Edu and Arteta were blown away by Tomas’ performance against Benfica (Picture: Getty)

Tomas has been tipped for future stardom in Portugal for some time and has shone at international level with the U17 side through to U19s.

The teenage forward made three substitute appearances in the league last season before being handed his full Sporting debut in the side’s goalless draw with Vitoria Setubal.

Arsene Wenger famously missed out on a young Cristiano Ronaldo, then of Sporting, before the Portuguese joined Manchester United back in 2003 and the north London club are determined to avoid a similar mistake being made with Tomas.

Tomas impressed Arteta and Edu during Sporting’s win over Benfica (Picture: Getty)

Speaking to the Liga Portugal Instagram account last month, Tomas said he was realising a ‘dream’ representing Sporting’s first-team this season.

‘It’s been a dream come true and I’m very grateful,’ the attacker said.

‘I’m so happy to have got here but I’m here because of the hard work I’ve done in training.’

On his relationship with Sporting head coach Amorim, Tomas added: ‘It’s a privilege for me.

‘He was the one who launched me and I just have to say thank you.

‘It has been great for me and for the youngsters in the squad. We have done a good job and he is helping us a lot.’

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