Arsenal are set to miss out on Barcelona's contract rebel Antonio Sanabria after AS Roma stole a march in the race for his signature, reports the Daily Mirror.
Arsene Wenger was thought to be keen on the 17-year-old wonderkid and reportedly sent out his chief transfer dealer, Dick Law, to convince him to join the Emirates.
Having rejected a contract extension from Barcelona, Sanabria is free to leave the Nou Camp if any club meets his £3.6m release clause and Roma are preparing to meet it when the transfer window reopens in January.
The Paraguayan international made his international debut in August, drawing 3-3 with Germany and has so far mustered three caps for his country.
He joined Barcelona's famed La Masia academy in 2009 and has impressed coaches at the club, but is growing impatient due to his lack of first team action.
Arsenal were ready to offer Sanabria a chance to play in the first team, due mainly to their lack of strikers in the squad at the moment.
Currently Wenger's only proven striker is Olivier Giroud, who has started 23 of Arsenal's 26 games so far this season.
Nicklas Bendtner, who has openly declared his intentions to leave the Gunners, is second choice to Giroud and the Arsenal boss was hoping to add to his striker options in January.
However, with Roma now favourite to land Sanabria, Wenger may have to look to alternative targets.