The Gunners have long been linked with the young Sporting Lisbon defensive midfielder, and after losing out on Morgan Schneiderlin to Manchester United, the 23-year-old is now top of Arsene Wenger’s wish-list as the new season draws ever closer. The Portugal international is considered one of the best young talents in European football, and was recently voted as player of the tournament at the under-21 European Championship. He’s also proven he can handle the pace of Champions League football, sporting an 85 per cent pass completion rate in his debut season in the competition. Arsenal were believed to be preparing a bid of around £28.5m, however, a recent fractured tibia means that Carvalho will miss the start of the season, so Arsenal might want to wait until January before launching a bid for their most-wanted.
The Bayer Leverkusen number eight has been a transfer target for Arsenal for some time now, and despite reported interest in the German international from Barcelona, Bender is still on the radar of Wenger as the Gunners look set to offer a speculated £18.5m bid for the 26-year-old. Leverkusen manager Roger Schmidt is desperate to keep Rosenheim-born midfielder, but the opportunity to play in the Premier League alongside his Germany team-mates Per Mertesacker and Mesut Ozil at the Emirates may prove too alluring for Bender. Arsenal are also rumoured to be pursuing Sven Bender, Lars’ twin brother, who currently plays for Borussia Dortmund.
The 20-year-old midfielder is desperate for a move to the Premier League, and despite Barcelona boss Luis Enrique being keen to keep him at Camp Nou, Arsenal are believed to be very interested in bringing the Spaniard to north London. The Gunners are thought to be preparing a bid of around £8.5m for Samper, who is under contract at Barcelona until 2017, and with Portuguese giants Porto reportedly eyeing a loan deal, Wenger will need to act quickly to secure his signature. Samper is unlikely to become a Barcelona regular anytime soon, with Sergi Busquets currently blocking his path, and so a move away from Spain would help his development into the world-class player he is predicted to become.
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