Football

Arsenal and Liverpool looking to steal Barcelona starlet

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Barcelona are facing up to the prospect of losing the services of Tony Sanabria, as the talented teenager continues to attract interest from Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City, reports the Daily Star.

La Liga rules prevent Spanish clubs from offering professional contracts to any players under the age of 18, meaning that Sanabria's Premier League suitors could activate the €3million release clause written into his current youth deal.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is understood to be keen to lure the 17-year-old to north London, just as he did with fellow Barcelona academy products Cesc Fabregas, Fran Merida, Hector Bellerin and Jon Toral.

Fabregas was by far the biggest success story at Arsenal, establishing himself as an integral part of the first-team, before leaving the Emirates Stadium to return to Camp Nou in a £35million deal in 2011.

His rapid rise to prominence might tempt Sanabria towards Arsenal, given that he has been restricted to appearances for Barcelona's B side. He has trained with Gerardo Martino's senior team this season, but has so far found opportunities limited with the Spanish giants.

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers also has a good record of nurturing and developing young talent, and will try to convince Sanabria to move to Anfield with the promise of a clearer pathway to the Reds first-team.

Already capped at full international level with Paraguay, the South American starlet - who has been described as 'the jewel of the Barcelona academy' - might have already outgrown the Spanish second division, and will now have to consider the best move for his long-term future, with Manuel Pellegrini also ready to offer him a contract at the Etihad Stadium.

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Topics:
Football
Liverpool
Arsenal
Barcelona
Manchester City

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