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Barcelona make decisive statement on Arsenal transfer target

Arsenal transfer target Sergi Samper has been told he will be staying with Barcelona this season, reports talkSPORT.

The 20-year-old has found it hard to get regular football with the Blaugrana, but technical secretary Robert Fernandez has made it clear that the player will be spending another campaign at the Nou Camp. However, the midfielder looks set to again be stuck in the ‘B’ team, after making only four appearances in Luis Enrique’s treble-winning first team last season.

“At first, he will be in the B team,” said Fernandez, “with the option, of course, of being involved with the first team.”

The Gunners are still keen to monitor the youngster’s progress though, according to talkSPORT. If they do eventually sign the player then it will be similar to when they poached Cesc Fabregas and Hector Bellerin from La Masia. With central midfield one of the stronger areas for the North Londoners at the moment, they may not be in a rush to bring the Spain Under 21 international to the Emirates Stadium immediately.

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The news comes despite reports that the Barca ‘B’ team are going to have to offload up to 13 players before the new season begins [Daily Mirror], as they are only able to register 22 players for the new season, and currently have 35 on their books.

Similarly, with the reserve side having been relegated to the Segunda B Division, it remains to be seen whether the quality of opposition the club are set to meet this season will truly be useful for the youngsters’ development. It is therefore easy to understand why the Catalan outfit would want to let players leave on loan in order to gain experience of playing at a higher level.

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