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Exclusive: Arsenal Set Sights On Signing Barcelona Winger On Loan as Oxlade-Chamberlain Replacement

Wenger forced to bring in cover with bad news on Oxlade-Chamberlain.

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is repotedly ready to approach Barcelona in the hope of o signing Barcelona winger Cristian Tello on loan for the season, with the news that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is could be out for up to six months.

The England international left the Emirates Stadium on crutches after Arsenal’s opening day 3-1 home defeat to Aston Villa, with a knee injury that looks worse than initially expected.

The 20-year-old set up the opening goal for the Gunners for Olivier Giroud, and was expected to be more of a first-team regular in the side this season following the departures of Gervinho and Andrey Arshavin.

However, in the latest of a long line of blows for Arsenal recently, Chamberlain will likely be forced to sit out the majority of the season, leading Wenger to act fast in bringing in cover.

The Frenchman has been quiet in the transfer window so far, managing to bring in only young striker Yaya Sanogo on a free transfer from Auxerre, while big-name targets such as Gonzalo Higuain, Luis Suarez and Wayne Rooney have escaped his grasp.

However, he will now reignite his interest in a player that has been linked several times with the Gunners, and bring Tello to Arsenal on a season-long loan for 2013/14.

Tello was linked with the club earlier in the summer, and has also been mentioned as a target for Tottenham and Liverpool, due to his current status as a squad player at the Nou Camp.

Despite being rated as one of the club’s most exciting youngsters, the 22-year-old has struggled to break past big names such as Lionel Messi, Alexis Sanchez and Pedro Rodriguez in the team’s starting lineup over the last few years, and is said to welcome the chance to prove himself elsewhere.

With Brazilian sensation Neymar also arriving in a big-money move this summer, Tello’s chances of playing regularly look even slimmer, and Barcelona manager Gerardo Martino is said to be happy for him to leave the club on a temporary basis to continue his development.

Wenger will be hoping to wrap up a deal for Tello quickly, as he is still keen to focus on other areas of his team before the close of the transfer window. A striker and a midfielder have been more pressing issues for the Gunners boos for most of the summer, and rumours at the moment suggest that he could look to another Spaniard, Swansea City’s Michu, as a good alternative upfront to previous targets Higuain and Suarez.

The deal for Tello is unlikely to become a permanent one, with the youngster keen to continue to fight for a place at Barca, and with Wenger looking to reinstate Chamberlain into the team towards the end of the season if possible.


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