Arsenal’s failure to qualify for European football next season could reportedly see them miss out on signing Tiago Tomas this summer.
The Gunners have been linked with the 18-year-old for several months, with the club’s technical director Edu said to have been leading talks with Sporting Lisbon over the striker.
Tomas signed a new five-year contract with Sporting back in June 2020 which is thought to contain a £52m release clause.
However, Sporting were expected to lower their asking price to around £20m as a result of the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Now, according to a report from the Sun, Sporting have changed their stance.
Having won the Primeira Liga for the first time since 2002 and secured qualification for the Champions League, they are now desperate to keep the majority of their squad together.
The report also states that Arsenal’s failure to qualify for Europe for the first time in 25 years means their chances of signing Tomas this summer have taken a major blow.
Tomas netted six goals in 37 appearances in all competitions for Sporting last season, including the winner in their Europa League third round qualifying tie with Aberdeen.
Speaking earlier this month about potential incomings, Gunners boss Mikel Arteta said: “They’re going to get better and they’re going to strengthen, so we need to get better. First of all, we have to get our players better, more consistent and help them to improve.
“All our way of playing, our philosophy, I think is in place. They buy into that and now is the moment to take it to the next level, to improve that and improve our consistency because since December to now, we’ve shown that we’re the second or third-best team in the league.
“It’s not enough. Six months, the level is high, so we need to do that for 10 months.”
He also reflected on the impact of failing to qualify for Europe, adding: “I’m sad because this club deserves to be delivered trophies and the Champions League. We haven’t managed that.
“It’s very challenging circumstances but we’ve tried to stick together and do our best. It’s not been enough.
“We have to be very critical of ourselves, of myself, and then prepare the best possible way for next season to take advantage of that.
“Hopefully we can have the pre-season that I haven’t had, and have time to work with those players and try to be a better team.”
Arsenal are hoping to sign Martin Odegaard this summer after the Norwegian international impressed during his loan spell, but Arteta has conceded that the player’s future remains up to his parent club Real Madrid.
“Well we have a very clear and strong opinion on what we would like to do,” Arteta said. “He’s not our player.
“We’ll have discussions in the next few weeks, but first of all we need to respect that he’s a Real Madrid player.
“We’ll have those communications. We’ve tried to make everything that we could to get Martin performing for the team, which I think he’s done, and he has adapted really well to our way of playing and to our football club.
“Hopefully we have given him the hope and the feeling that this could be a good place for him.”