Sadiq Umar is currently on loan at Roma from Italian Second division side Spezia and has reportedly attracted the attention of Gunners scouts.
The website AllNigeriaSoccer.com claim the north London club made a £15.7million bid for the 19-year-old this week.
However, it’s understood it was turned down and the Gunners will now return with a second offer that could be a record transfer fee for a Nigerian teenager.
Umar’s transfer fee is understood to equal the sum paid by Chelsea to acquire John Obi Mikel from Norwegian club Lyn in June 2006.
The Blues paid Manchester United and the Norwegian club a total of £16m, resolving a bizarre transfer dispute involving the three clubs.
Sadiq Umar has seen his stock rise sharply in the last six months having netted 16 goals in Roma’s various youth teams.
And the teenager has also bagged two goals in six appearances for the Roma senior team.
Meanwhile, Arsenal completed the signing of fellow Nigerian youngster Kelechi Nwakali this week, after the 17-year-old confirmed he had put pen to paper on a five-year deal.