Arsenal have joined Barcelona in the race to sign Spanish strike sensation Francisco Alcacer.

The Valencia starlet continues to add to his growing reputation in the club's second team, scoring a hat-trick in Segunda B to take his career total with the team to 33 goals in 54 games.

Yet to make a senior La Liga appearance at the Mestalla stadium, some of Europe's biggest clubs have started to circle the 18-year-old, with Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola keen to take the player to Catalonia.

Arsene Wenger has also taken notice of the talented teenager, and talkSPORT reports that Arsenal will go head-to-head with the Spanish giants over the £9 million-rated player.

Wenger has a track record of bringing players to the Emirates from Spain, with Cesc Fabregas and Ignasi Miquel two high-profile examples of players who have joined Arsenal at a young age, with the later recently breaking into the Gunners' first team.


A transfer battle with Barca adds extra fuel to the fire, with the La Liga champions still thought to be unhappy over Arsenal signing academy products Hector Bellerin and Jon Toral earlier in the year.

Alcacer, nicknamed 'Paco', helped the Spanish U19 side claim the European Championships this summer, and is contracted to Los Che until 2013.

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