Arsenal have been encouraged in their pursuit of William Carvalho after the Sporting Lisbon star revealed he is fond of the Gunners. He was a target for the Premier League clubs in the summer transfer window.
The Telegraph reported the north London club and their league rivals Manchester United are interested in signing the midfielder. However, it is Arsene Wenger's side who were believed to be leading the race for his signature.
Earlier in July, Carvalho suffered an injury that left him with a fractured leg, which put an end to any potential move to England in the summer. He was ruled out for three months and has already made a return to the first team following his time on the sidelines.
Carvalho has set his sights on winning the Portuguese league with Sporting this term. However, the Portuguese international's dream is to play for Arsenal in the future.
"I am where I want to be right now, which is Sporting, but if I ever do leave then it's a sign that my work here was well done. I dream of winning the Primeira Liga here," Carvalho told Portuguese publication A Bola, as reported by Goal.com.
"I prefer not to say too much, but there is a club with which I've always been fond of: Arsenal. Because of Thierry Henry, a player with whom I have always enjoyed watching. Maybe this is why I look with so much affection to the Premier League."
Carvalho was instrumental in his side's 5-1 victory over Viteria Guimaraes in the last league fixture. They face arch-rivals Benfica in the next league tie and the 23-year-old admitted that victory over Guimaraes will only boost their confidence.
"The team achieved an important objective, which was to win and to play well. Now we will carry on working hard to do the same in our next game. We still aren't thinking about it, because we still have a Portuguese Cup game to come first and we will be focused on that," Carvalho told Sporting's official website.