William Carvalho
William CarvalhoGetty Images

Chelsea are reportedly leading the race Arsenal and Manchester United Target William Carvalho from Sporting Lisbon.

According to the Express, the Blues are tracking the youngster, as current defensive midfielder Jon Obi Mikel's future remains uncertain and Jose Mourinho is looking at the Portuguese youngster to provide competition to current first choice Nemaja Matic.

The report claims that Chelsea and Arsenal had sent scouts to watch Carvalho play this weekend, but were disappointed to see the young midfielder sent off midway through the second half.

Earlier in the summer, it was believed that Arsenal were leading the race for the Sporting midfielder and had made a £24m bid for the player, but the Portuguese club came out and quashed the rumours, by admitting they had not received any bids for the player.

Sporting are said to be insistent that any interested club should meet the £35m release-clause in Carvalho's contract, for them to consider his departure.

Arsene Wenger is a keen admirer of the youngster and is in the market for a defensive midfielder, as he seeks a long-term replacement for skipper Mikel Arteta.

Apart from the two London clubs, United have also been following the youngster for a long time, and earlier in the summer transfer window, it was claimed that the Old Trafford club were close to landing the player.

The Red Devils could still usurp the their London rivals and meet the £35m release-clause, if they fail in their rumoured big money move for Juventus' Arturo Vidal, who is Louis van Gaal's primary midfield target.

All three managers have admitted that they are in the market for new players, especially van Gaal, who is under pressure to make new signings after United's 2-1 opening day loss to Swansea City in the Premier League.