Arsenal leading the race to sign Sporting Lisbon's 18-year-old striker Tiago Tomas this summer

Arsenal leading the race to sign Sporting Lisbon's 18-year-old striker Tiago Tomas this summer

Arsenal are closing in on a cut-price move for Sporting Lisbon prospect Tiago Tomas, with Gunners technical director Edu reported to have kicked-off transfer talks.

At 18-years-old Tomas is already playing a key role for the unbeaten league leaders, having only made his Liga NOS debut late last season.

The striker has fired two goals, provided two assists, and is yet to miss a league match so far this season – with eight of the striker's 18 appearances coming in the starting XI.

The Gunners face Sporting's city rivals Benfica in the Europa League next week, so both Edu and Gunners manager Mikel Arteta both sat down to watch the Lisbon sides face-off earlier this month.

Both men were impressed by Tomas' performance, leading Edu to reach-out to Sporting's director of football Hugo Viana over a summer transfer, according to the Sun.

Before his senior debut in July Tomas signed a five-year contract at the Portuguese side, with a £52m release clause bolted to the deal.

The Gunners may have dodged a deal at that price but with clubs feeling the pinch as the coronavirus pandemic rolls on, Sporting could accept a bid of just £20m.

Tomas would join a pool of exciting talent at Arsenal's London Colney training ground, with the likes of Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith-Rowe leading their next generation.

The Portugal under-19 international's arrival would be bad news for Gabriel Martinelli though, with the 19-year-old forward yet to re-find the form after a string of injuries which halted his rapid progress since arriving in north London.

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