Emirates Stadium boss lines up move for Nou Camp quartet.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will try to get his own back on Barcelona this summer by nabbing FOUR of their young stars.
But Wenger will have to do battle with Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas to land Sergio Roberto, 19, Martin Montoya, 20, Marc Bartra, 20, and Rafa Alcantara, 18, says the Daily Star Sunday.
Wenger has had scouts watching Brazilian-born midfielder Alcantara and right-back Montoya for the past 18 months – and is ready to snap the pair up in January, or at the close of the current campaign.
Montoya’s contract with the Catalan side ends in the summer and his agent Jose Maria Orobitg says the player is keen to discuss a move to England.
This would be one way to deal with the incessant ‘tapping-up’ behaviour Arsenal had to put up with for the best part of three years before Cesc Fabregas returned to the Nou Camp in the summer. The danger of course is that in three of four years time the Barcelona players will once again take to every interviewing possibility to speak of ‘Barca DNA’ but that said it may still be well worth Arsene Wenger looking into snapping up these young talents.
In many ways the return of Cesc Fabregas to the Catalan club may well be the best advert for these four starlets to consider a good reason to move to the North London club. Arsenal are well known for trusting to youth and the fact that Cesc returned to Barcelona some years after he left a far more accomplished player may well persuade these youngsters to make a similar move.
Pep Guardiola saw a number of youngsters leave in the summer with Bojan moving to Roma, Jeffren for Sporting Lisbon and Oriol Romeu for Chelsea to name just three. That said a number of other quality youngsters have broken into the first team picture this term with Isaac Cuenca, Thiago Alcantara, Jonathan dos Santos and Andreu Fontas all impressing.
This summer could well see a lot of Arsenal players leave after failing to make an impact. Nicklas Bendtner, Manuel Almunia and Carlos Vela are all out on loan and are unlikely to return to the Emirates Stadium. Underperforming players like Sebastien Squillaci, Marouane Chamakh and even Andrei Arshavin could be on their way, leaving the way clear for the introduction of further youthful additions that Wenger feels can form part of re-generated first team squad that can bring an end to a long lean spell.
Of the four players mentioned perhaps the most useful to Wenger could be Martin Montoya a talented right back who has already represented the Barcelona first team and is a regular in the Spanish Under 21 set-up. centre back Mark Bartra and adaptable attacker Rafa Alcantara, better known as Rafinha, younger brother of Thiago.