Talented teenager interested in potential La Liga move.
Fran Merida’s agent has hinted that it would be difficult for the Arsenal starlet to turn down a move to Atletico Madrid.
The teenage midfielder has been hailed as an exciting prospect for some time and produced another example of his talent with a fine goal in the Carling Cup victory over Liverpool last week.
Merida revealed after the match that he was in talks over a new deal at Emirates Stadium, with his current contract set to expire at the end of this season.
Arsene Wenger is a huge admirer of the Spaniard but reports have surfaced linking him with a move back to his homeland.
Atletico have confirmed they are keeping track of Merida’s progress, with president Enrique Cerezo saying the decision could rest with the player.
Merida’s representative Joseba Diaz has now indicated that his client would find the idea of joining Atletico appealing. (Sky Sports)
This is not particularly good news. It could just be an attempt by Fran’s agent to get his client a better deal as it would seem unlikely that the young Spaniard would believe he would have a better crack of the whip at the La Liga side than he does at the Emirates.
There is not a better club around for an aspiring youngster to get a good taste of top level action. Yes the 19 year old has found it hard to break into the first team picture and is in fact still to start a Premier League game, but the signs are there that Arsene Wenger is moving towards pushing the youngster towards a more meaningful role in the Arsenal set-up.
Fran is a wonderfully talented attacker who appears to have the ability to in time fit into a number of roles, whether its out on the flank or in the hole behind the strikers or indeed as one of a pair up front. Arsene realises his worth and if the only problem is getting a contract that suits all parties, then hopefully this will all be resolved before the summer.
I do fear however that Barcelona may attempt to get involved in all of this as Fran did start his footballing education at the Nou Camp and the Catalan side seem to have a knack of trying to unsettle Arsenal players, as evidenced by their continued pursuit of Cesc Fabregas.