Arsenal have been dealt a huge transfer blow after it was revealed that long term transfer target William Carvalho will be sidelined for 3 months due to injury.
The Portuguese holding midfielder will now not be able to move during this window, potentially ending the interest in him from many clubs.
Competition for his signature?
Arsenal have been linked with Carvalho for a long time and this new injury may come as a blow to the Gunners, with the Sporting player arguably the top target for Arsenal if they are looking to strengthen in midfield.
Carvalho has also been linked to Manchester United in the past, and his strong performances at the U21 Euros, where he won Player of the Tournament, have led to interest from Real Madrid.
He is rumoured to have a release clause in his contract, but exact details of the fee vary from around £25 million to £37 million. Recent reports suggest that despite the clause Sporting may be willing to negotiate for a lower fee.
The midfielder has a stress fracture of the tibia, which could leave him out for three months. This will mean he will miss the opening of the new season as well as scuppering the option of a move this summer, and strong performances by his teammates in his absence could see him fall out of favour under new Sporting manager Jorge Jesus.
Could Arsenal play the waiting game?
This transfer blow has been one of a string for Arsenal this window, where they have missed out on many defensive midfielders. This leaves few prospective targets for the Londoners if they would like to buy a defensive midfielder. The form of Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla and Arsene Wenger's recent talk of "cohesion" being important could mean that Arsenal may not buy a defensive midfielder.
Goal.com have suggested that Wenger is very interested in buying a striker, but there has been minimal of a defensive midfielder. Real Madrid's Karim Benzema is the top target for the Frenchman, and according to the reports he is willing to play the long game when it comes to signing Benzema, much like he did when signing Mesut Özil.