Arsenal have joined Manchester United, Liverpool and AC Milan in registering their interest in Sporting Lisbon wunderkind Nuno Mendes, according to reports from the Mirror.

With Sead Kolasinac and Hector Bellerin both being linked with moves away, the Gunners are looking to bolster their options in the full back positions.

The FA Cup champions are looking to bring in a younger profile of player, and it is thought that they see the 18-year-old as the perfect solution.

But who is the latest Sporting Lisbon starlet attracting the attention of Mikel Arteta?

Who is Nuno Mendes?

Portimonense SC v Sporting CP
Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

Nuno Mendes is a versatile defender who can either play at left back in a four, or as a wing back in a five.

He uses his pace and power to get beyond the opposition defensive lines, and is calm under pressure in the final third, often providing accurate crosses to his teammates.

He is also a fantastic one vs one defender and uses his natural attributes to stop attacking wingers from threatening his team’s goal.

With the recent success of Kieran Tierney and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, it’s clear to see that Mendes has all the characteristics that Mikel Arteta likes in his full backs.

Sporting’s saviour

Despite being one of Portugal’s traditional ‘big three’ Sporting Lisbon’s financial troubles in recent years have seen them struggle in the league.

However, they found form again towards the end of last season after new manager Ruben Amorim put his faith in players from the renowned youth side.

Nuno Mendes was one of three academy graduates – along with Eduardo Quaresma and Matheus Nunes – who helped Sporting to qualify for the Europa League.

Fellow Arsenal target Joelson Fernandes was also given game time, but it was Mendes who really stood out.

Highly rated

Sporting Lisbon are keen to keep a hold of their prodigious left-back, but club president Frederico Varandas has made no secret of his immense talent.

In an interview with Portuguese TV station Canal 11 he stated: “We have the best U19 left-back in Europe: Nuno Mendes.”

This is big praise coming from a club that boasts Joao Moutinho, Luis Figo and Cristiano Ronaldo among its academy graduates.

It’s a lot of hype for someone so young, but it’s also an indicator of just how good the Portugal under 19 international can be.

In high demand

Portimonense SC v Sporting CP
Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

Arsenal may have been the latest to register their interest in Mendes, but they are certainly not the first.

Giants of the game like Liverpool, Manchester United and AC Milan have also expressed a desire to sign the Sporting Lisbon wunderkind.

It was reported that Milan actually submitted a bid in the region of €15million (£13.5m) including a percentage of any sell-on fee in the future.

But the Verde e Brancos are seemingly looking for a fee more in the region of €45m, which could be a stumbling block for the Gunners.

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