The Serbian and Portuguese media are managing to build a story between themselves claiming Arsenal are seriously interested in Andrija Zivkovic. The Portuguese media credit the Serbian media with starting the story, and the opposite is true in Serbia.

It’s all being encouraged by Arsenal scouting Benfica, which they did again on Friday. Benfica beat Arouca 3-0 and Zivkovic played well. That’s given Portuguese newspaper Record a chance to say Arsenal are closely following the progress of the player, and have been ever since he joined Benfica.

The 20 year old winger moved from Partizan Belgrade last summer and has managed around 400 league minutes for Benfica this season. He’s highly rated and Arsenal were linked to Zivkovic even before he moved to Benfica, which will only serve to encourage the rumours further.

Screen Shot 2017-02-12 at 12.18.18Arsenal have been routinely scouting Portuguese matches in recent years and their interest is probably more general, rather than pinned to Zivkovic, but continued visits to Portugal to watch players is going to see more and more rumours.

Arsenal have upped their scouting in Portugal over the past couple of weeks, after a lull in the first half of the season. If Arsenal are looking to buy Zivkovic then this scouting would be the initial stage of any deal, with Arsene Wenger being informed of the player’s progress since moving to Portugal.

Next would come the transfer talks, and with Benfica that usually involves being quoted a ridiculous price before agreeing a tiered deal with many clauses, which makes the Portuguese club look like they’ve got a better deal than they actually have.