These are ‘decisive hours’ in Arsenal’s pursuit of Sporting starlet Joelson, according to claims from Portugal today.

Newspaper A Bola says that directors from the Gunners are expected in Lisbon to negotiate with the Lions between Monday and Tuesday.

The officials will be accompanied by Kia Joorabchian, who works as Joelson’s representative and also has a very good relationship with Arsenal’s board.

A Bola insists that the Gunners are willing to trigger the player’s release clause, which is stands at €45m, and that would leave Sporting with their hands tied.

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The reason for Arsenal to come so strong for Joelson is that the club want to avoid the competition from other European giants, since Barcelona and Juventus are both said to be following the player as well.

Joelson is still 17 years old and has only played 63 minutes for Sporting’s first team, as he made his first four appearances for the club this season. It seems that was enough to convince big clubs that he’s worth the heavy investment.

These claims seem questionable, mainly because Portugal is not yet on the agreed travel list for the UK, meaning travellers are forced to quarantine for two weeks on their return.