Arsenal FC have reportedly turned their attention towards William Carvalho after concerns over fitness of Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira.

Both Carvalho and Khedira have been linked with a move to the Emirates this summer with Arsene Wenger keen to sign a defensive midfielder. But the Gunners seemed to have turned their attention on the Portuguese midfielder after concerns over Khedira’s wages and his fitness.

William Carvalho was promoted to the first team squad in 2011, when he made his debut at the age of 18 in a match against Vitoria S.C. After having successful loan spells at Fatima and Cercle Brugge, Carvalho established himself in the starting line-up of the Portuguese club last season under former manager Leonardo Jardim.

Carvalho produced some wonderful performances in the midfield for Sporting as they finished runners-up in the league. Carvalho is strongly built and breaks up play wonderfully and has a good passing range to boost. His consistent performances earned him a place in the World Cup squad where he played his first game as a substitute against USA, when he replaced the injured Andre Almeida. He started the next game against Ghana and helped his side to a 2-1 win, which sadly wasn’t enough for them to progress through to the next round.

But Carvalho has been grabbing the headlines long before the World Cup with a host of European clubs monitoring his progress in Portugal. Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City, Inter Milan and Real Madrid have all been linked with a move for the 22-year-old defensive midfielder. But Sporting’s high valuation of the player warded off interest from most of these clubs.

Latest reports from Portugal suggest that Sporting are now willing to listen to offers below the £35 million buy-out clause present in Carvalho’s contract. The Portuguese club are currently facing financial problems and are looking to sell Carvalho in order to balance their books. It is believed that a bid of £24 million would be enough for Arsenal to sign their target and Arsene Wenger has turned his attention towards Carvalho as he is a much cheaper and younger option than Khedira.

Real Madrid reportedly want £24 million for the German international, while Khedira is demanding a wage of £150,000-a-week. Wenger is concerned about investing so much on a player who has faced a lot of fitness concerns recently. Moreover, Carvalho is currently on a significantly lower wage at Sporting and it won’t take Arsenal much to offer him a big hike.

Shad Forsythe, the new fitness expert at Arsenal, is also providing key information about Khedira’s fitness and this helped Wenger in prioritising Carvalho over Khedira.

Tommy Smyth ‏@TommySmythESPN Aug 5
Arsenal may be cooling in the chase for Sami Khedira over his injury record. They are stepping up a bid for Sportings Carvalho for 24 mil