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Report: Arsenal close to signing Portuguese teen star from Sporting

Sporting CP v Aberdeen: UEFA Europa League Third Qualifying Round
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Mikel Arteta was impressed with one of Sporting’s young stars as he scouted their match against Benfica.

Arsenal’s technical director Edu has established contacts with Sporting’s director of football to secure the signing of 18-year-old Tiago Tomas. Mikel Arteta scouted Tomas after the forward caught his eye while playing against Benfica. Sporting’s rivals will play Arsenal in the Europa League next week. The young player is one of the biggest rising stars in the Portuguese league and the Gunners don’t want to let their opportunity pass by.

In fact, Arsenal still remember one of their biggest mistakes all too well. Back in 2003, the Gunners had the chance to sign Cristiano Ronaldo but failed to follow through. Since we all know how that ended up, the Premier League side is hoping to learn from its mistakes. Now that there’s a new 18-year-old turning heads at Sporting, Arteta wants to secure his services before it’s too late.

According to The Sun, Sporting are willing to accept a €25 million transfer fee for Tiago Tomas due to the current economical situation. However, the player recently signing a five-year contract with the Lions which included a €60 million release clause.

Paulinho’s signing may help Arteta get his man.

Although Tiago Tomas has been vital for Sporting this season, the 18-year-old was relegated to the bench after Paulinho’s arrival. The former Braga striker had scored 10 goals this season and Ruben Amorim’s side rescued him for €16 million in January. Tomas, who offers very different characteristics when compared to Paulinho, has scored five times for Sporting this season and also bagged one assist.