West Ham's chances of landing former transfer target William Carvalho in January have been dealt a blow after Arsenal reportedly entered the race to sign him.
The Sporting midfielder has been linked with a move to the Emirates in A Bola (via Sport Witness) on Friday after the Hammers were tipped to reignite their pursuit of Carvalho themselves.
Arsenal are well aware that they would have to fork out around £35m to land the Portugal international, and a transfer tussle could now ensue between the two London-based clubs if West Ham opt to try their hand at taking the Gunners on.
Arsenal want to shake hands on a pre-transfer agreement with their European counterparts ahead of next summer's World Cup in June - a shrewd decision given how his value could increase with a good display for Portugal in June and July.
David Moyes' side came to an agreement with Sporting to end their public spat over a failed deal to bring Carvalho to the Premier League in the summer, and those eased tensions led to speculation that the Irons could try and prise him away from the Iberian peninsula in the winter window.
Doing so would be a massive undertaking now, however, with Arsenal's interest believed to be concrete enough to rival West Ham for Carvalho's signature.
Leon Goretzka will be great, I also think William Carvalho will be perfect but Wenger always ignores him— bilal (@bilal0644) December 14, 2017
Chinese Super League club Tianjin Quanjin are also thought to be mulling over a big-money move for the defensive midfielder but, whilst they could blow the English duo away in terms of wages, are less of an attractive proposition than Arsenal or West Ham.
Carvalho himself is said to favour a move to the Gunners over the Hammers due to their European exertions, and that could be enough to sway him into moving to north London than the east side of the capital.
Carvalho is contracted to Sporting until June 2020, and the 25-year-old has racked up 170 appearances in all competitions for the Portuguese giants during his four-year first-team career with them.