Arsenal have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Spanish starlet Francisco Alcacer.

The 18-year-old striker, nicknamed 'Paco', has been heavily linked with a move to a number of top clubs across Europe, including La Liga champions Barcelona.

Arsenal are reported to be leading the chase from England, with an £8 million release clause enticing the Gunners over the highly-rated 18-year-old.

With his current contract set to expire in 2013, talkSPORT claims Valencia are eager to tie the player down to a new deal at the Mestalla, with discussions already taking place over adding another three years to his current deal.

The news comes as a blow to Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who has a track record of bringing young Spaniards to the Emirates and getting the best out of them.


Cesc Fabregas is the highest profile example, with the Barcelona academy product going on to become club captain for Arsenal before a £35 million sale back to the Nou Camp.

Ignasi Miquel is another on the brink of the first team, whilst Mikel Arteta would help make sure 'Paco' felt a touch of Spain in north London were he to join Arsenal.

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