Arsenal have moved to activate the release clause of Barcelona starlet Sergi Samper according to Spanish newspaper El Mundo Deportivo.
However the talented youngster has turned down the move in order to stay with the Catalan club and work with new boss Luis Enrique having been promised the chance to showcase his ability in the first team.
Although the transfer window is closed Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is still looking for additions to his squad, and according to reports in Spain he's looking to raid Barcelona's famed youth academy once more just as he did to snare a young Cesc Fabregas.
El Mundo Deportivo say that Arsenal offered the €12 million to release him from Barcelona - however he is willing to stay with the Spanish giants in order to establish himself as a force in the first team.
The 19-year-old, who is contracted until 2017 as things stand, is currently fine-tuning his game in Barcelona's second team, but such is his talent that he's been branded the new Cesc Fabregas and has been tipped for big things in the future.
With Fabregas gone and Xavi coming towards the end of his career, Samper may get his chance to show what he can do in the first time sooner rather than later. Enrique, who took over from Gerardo Martino for the new campaign, has shown he is willing to promote young players having given Munir and Rafinha starting spots so far this season.
Samper is a classy midfield operator, and Wenger's move for him may suggest that he's looking for a long-term replacement for Mikel Arteta.
The Spaniard is now 32 and questions have started to arise over his position in the first team. Wenger was seemingly looking at midfield options over the summer having been linked with the likes of Sami Khedira and William Carvalho.
However he couldn't get either of those deals done in time and is stuck with what he's got until January - and it now looks unlikely that Samper will be the man for the job either.
Arsenal will resume their Premier League campaign after the end of the international break when they take on Manchester City. That will represent their fans' first chance to see new £16 million signing Danny Welbeck, who arrived at the Emirates Stadium from Manchester United on deadline day.
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