Gunners closing in on superb signing of midfield youngster.Arsenal are growing increasingly confident of signing Barcelona youngster Sergi Samper this January after meeting the midfielder’s release clause of £9.4m.
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The 19-year-old, who has been compared with former Gunners captain Cesc Fabregas, who also played for Barcelona in two spells at the Nou Camp, is one of the most highly regarded prospects in Europe, and will now hold talks with the north London giants ahead of a likely January transfer.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been in the market for new signings in midfield, being linked with some big names such as Real Madrid star Sami Khedira and Sporting Lisbon’s William Carvalho, as well as another promising youngster in Adrien Rabiot, though he now looks set to leave Paris Saint-Germain for AS Roma in the next transfer window.
Missing out on these players has now seen Wenger switch his focus to youth once again, with Samper showing that he can perform at the top level with some impressive performances in Luis Enrique’s first-team this season.
Barca are desperate to keep both Samper and Munir El Haddadi – also linked with Arsenal – at the Nou Camp as part of their future, with legendary playmaker Xavi possibly into his final season at the club.
Still, Samper has been impressed by Arsenal and may take the chance to move to the Premier League and play regular first-team football, perhaps becoming a long-term replacement for the club’s current deep-lying playmaker Mikel Arteta.
Arsenal and Barcelona did business in the transfer market this summer as well, with Alexis Sanchez moving to the Emirates Stadium before Thomas Vermaelen later completed a move to the La Liga giants.