Arsenal plan £40m raid in 24 hours to avoid Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes repeat

Arsenal could trigger the £40million release clause in the contract of Sporting CP teenager Joelson Fernandes in the next 24 hours, according to reports in Portugal.

The Gunners are said to be on the trail of the 17-year-old, who has drawn comparisons with one of their greatest ever academy prospects, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Fernandes only made his first-team debut last month but already has a burgeoning reputation.

He is also represented by agent Kia Joorabchian, who has taken clients such as David Luiz and Cédric Soares to the Emirates in the last 12 months.

Arsenal are understood to be struggling financially but Portuguese newspaper A Bola claim they are ready to break the bank for Fernandes.

The report says Arsenal’s proposal could come before Sporting face Vitória FC on Tuesday night.

Arsenal are said to want to get the deal done as soon as possible to see off interest from Barcelona and Juventus.

It is also claimed Arsenal are wary of repeating their failed attempts to sign Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes.

Ronaldo was a target for Arsene Wenger and Arsenal back in 2003 but they lost out to Manchester United, who moved swiftly for him after he shone in pre-season friendly against them.

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Fernandes joined United in January and has been a revelation for them with nine goals and eight assists so far.

Meanwhile, Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta has urged the club to tie Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang down to a new deal as soon as possible.

Aubameyang once again proved his value to the Gunners with two excellent finishes in the 2-0 win over Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-finals on Saturday.

The 31-year-old is in the final year of his contract and talks over a renewal have so far failed to result in an extension.

And Arteta believes finding a resolution will benefit the player and squad.

He said: “With Auba, I think I’ve been very clear with what I want. The quicker we do it, for me personally, the better because the player will be more focused, more determined and more calm.

“But we have to respect the timings as well and the needs of the football club.”

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