Arsenal have signed 16 year-old Barcelona midfielder Jon Miquel Toral in the hope he becomes a future star at Emirates Stadium.
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Arsenal have signed 16 year-old midfielder Jon Miquel Toral Harper from Barcelona, which will not be appreciated by the Spanish club ahead of the second leg of their UEFA Champions League knockout tie.
Arsene Wenger will hope that another recruitment from the famous La Masia academy proves as successful as their acquirement of Cesc Fabregas in 2003.
The story appears in this morning’s Daily Mail and Sun newspapers, as well as the ESPN website – though the Sun claim they have a WORLD EXCLUSIVE.
In truth, the likely source of all three articles is Barcelona local radio station RAC 1, who claimed last night that Arsenal are to pay €350,000 (approximately £294,000) in compensation for the youngster.
They also report that he was the subject of bids from Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City, but Arsenal’s proven faith in young players made his choice a sight easier.
Spanish naming customs consist of first names followed by two surnames – the father’s followed by that of the mother’s.
The young Barcelona midfielder’s father’s surname is Toral, but his mother’s is the more Anglo-Saxon sounding Harper, and the fact that she is English may well have helped push the move through.
What is also interesting is that Toral’s agent is none other than Pere Guardiola – brother of Barcelona manager Pep.