Arsenal appear to have won the race for another highly-rated Barcelona youngster, after Julio Pleguezuelo Selva rejected a three-year contract at Camp Nou, reports the Daily Mail.

The 16-year-old defender - who can operate at right-back as well as centre-back - has a burgeoning reputation as an up-and-coming star of the future, and has been heavily linked with a move to north London.

If Gunners boss Arsene Wenger secures Selva's signature, he is likely to sign the talented teenager on the cheap, because - according to the Daily Mirror - he is yet to sign a contract at Barcelona.

It's not the first time that Arsenal will have raided the Catalan club, of course with their most successful purchase coming in the form of former captain Cesc Fabregas, who left the Emirates Stadium to return to Spain in 2011.

Less memorable acquisitions include Fran Merida, Jon Toral and Hector Bellerin, but none of those promising young Spaniards made the breakthrough to the Arsenal first-team.

However, Selva is understood to hold high hopes of succeeding in the Premier League under the tutelage of Wenger, and sees a clearer route to regular football with the Gunners than he does at Barca.

Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City have also been credited with an interest in the youngster's signature, but it is Arsenal who are in pole position to sign Selva.



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