By Editor Wayne Veysey | Former Evening Standard, Press Association and Goal chief correspondent with 17 years experience of breaking big stories, including exclusives like this
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Arsenal have guaranteed wonderkid Domingos Quina a professional contract to persuade him to transfer from Chelsea, Football Insider sources understand.
The 16-year-old playmaker has agreed to move to the Gunners ahead of a string of other interested Premier League clubs after making it clear he would not be staying in the Stamford Bridge youth set-up.
Liverpool, Tottenham and the two Manchester clubs all made moves for the Portugal starlet, who is one of the highest rated youngsters in his country.
A Gunners recruitment source has told Football Insider that Quina has agreed a deal in principle to join Arsenal and is set to finalise a transfer to Emirates Stadium in the next 24 hours.
Quina is not eligible for a professional contract until he turns 17 but the north Londoners have guaranteed as part of the deal that he will be handed a long-term deal when he passes that milestone.
In youth recruitment circles, Arsenal’s swoop for Quina is regarded as a major coup. He joined Chelsea as a 13-year-old from Benfica and the west Londoners have had high hopes for him but the player has not returned to Stamford Bridge since representing Portugal Under-17s in Croatia during the international break.
The teenager is predominantly used in a central midfield or No10 role and is renowned for his dribbling and technical ability.
He has scored seven goals in eight matches for Portugal Under-17s and has been a regular scorer for Chelsea’s age-group team.
In other Arsenal transfer news, forgotten man Wojciech Szczesny is set for a return to the club after Roma decision.