William Carvalho
William Carvalho has established a reputation as one of European football's most highly-rated young midfieldersAFP

Sporting CP have confirmed that influential midfielder and long-term Arsenal target William Carvalho has penned a new contract at Estádio José Alvalade. The 23-year-old academy graduate, who has already won 15 senior international caps for Portugal and represented his country at the 2014 World Cup, is now set to remain in Lisbon until 2020.

In a clear move to deter any potential suitors, the Primeira Liga leaders have also inserted a fresh buyout clause into Carvalho's deal meaning that the academy graduate can now be bought for a fee of €45m ($34.8m, $50.3m).

In an official statement to confirm the agreement, Sporting said: "Under the terms and for the purposes of compliance with the reporting requirements stemming from Article 248, paragraph 1 al. a) of the Securities Code, the Board of Directors of Sporting Clube de Portugal - Futebol, SAD announces that the athlete William Carvalho Silva extended his contract with Sporting Clube de Portugal - Futebol SAD until the season 2019/2020 , settling the termination clause in €45,000,000.00 (forty-five million euros)."

Arsenal have frequently been linked with potential moves for Carvalho since he established himself as a first-team regular at Sporting. Reports from The Telegraph in December suggested that they had rekindled their interest ahead of the 2016 January transfer window with Francis Coquelin sidelined due to a serious knee injury, although Arsene Wenger eventually settled on a deal to sign Egyptian international Mohamed Elneny from Swiss champions FC Basel.

"I am really happy with the confidence that Sporting has shown in me once again," Carvalho told the Sporting website. "Renewing my contract for another four years is a dream come true for me.

"This will motivate me even more to make sure I am at my best. I want to tell the fans that I am really happy with the contract until 2020 that I have signed and you can expect me to do by best. I have been here a long time and I want to stay here.

"I am really proud to play for this institution and I want to say something to the kids playing at the Academy: "Fight for your dream. Carry on working hard and you will be rewarded."

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