Sergi Samper refused to leave Barcelona.
Arsenal failed to sign Barcelona starlet Sergi Samper despite activating the youngster’s £9.6 million release clause during the summer, Spanish publication El Mundo Deportivo reports.
The 19 year-old has been dubbed the ”The new Xavi” by pundits in Spain and is a regular member of Barcelona’s B team.
Samper has been on Arsene Wenger’s radar for sometime, with the veteran French coach attempting to sign him three years ago when the Gunners secured youngsters Jon Toral and Hector Bellerin from the Barca youth system.
Wenger is potentially looking to replace club captain Mikel Arteta, with the Spaniard routinely struggling with injuries. The 64 year-old had hoped to secure Samper’s signature and make him Arteta’s long term replacement, but the young Spaniard rejected a move to the Emirates as he desperately wants to break into Barca’s first team.
The midfielder has also been given assurances by coach Luis Enrique that he will be given an opportunity in the first team, giving him no reason to leave his beloved Barcelona.
Not only did the Gunners fail in their attempts to sign Samper, but they also weren’t able to persuade Sami Khedira and William Carvalho to move to the Emirates, meaning Wenger is still searching for a quality defensive midfielder.
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