Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is keen to land Barcelona youngster Sergi Samper, and will pay the midfielder’s €12million buyout clause if it comes to it.
The front page of Spanish newspaper Marca, kindly relayed by their website, details how Wenger’s interest in Samper could end up with Arsenal making a bid, despite the fact that the Catalans want to keep him.
Interestingly it’s believed that Wenger sees the La Masia ace as the ideal replacement to the ageing Mikel Arteta, who at 33 can only realistically offer one more season or so at the top of his game.
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Arsenal of course have previous with such deals, having lured Francesc Fabregas to north London in 2003 and more recently acquired Hector Bellerin. As a result Marca infer that Barca will put their foot down regarding this potential deal, although the player himself might be open to a transfer.
It’s no secret that it’s nigh impossible for youngsters to break into the Nou Camp first-team due to the current strength of the main squad.
Will he consent?
Fears that the Catalans are becoming increasingly like their bitter rivals Real Madrid in terms of being a ‘buying club’ haven’t been helped by the recent purchases of Neymar and Luis Suarez, and Samper has a tough task making it into Luis Enrique’s plans.
At the moment the 20-year-old is with the first-team squad for Barca’s pre-season training camp, but he has the likes of Sergio Busquets, Javier Mascherano and fellow youngster Sergi Roberto ahead of him in the pecking order.
Samper move feasible
As a result, and in a situation not too dissimilar to that of Fabregas’ all those years ago, Samper might be inclined to place his development in the hands of Wenger, who looks as though he’s searching for another young midfielder to mould for his team.
At the moment the Gunners’ squad is packed full of talent, but with players like Arteta, Tomas Rosicky and Mathieu Flamini running on tired legs there will come a time soon where Wenger is short of options in the middle of the park.
Samper might not be a man for the here and now, but he’s certainly a candidate for the future.
Arsenal fans, do you think you can sign Samper in the coming weeks? Let us know in the comments box below.