Premier League • England

Edu puts Arsenal wheels in motion for classy Barcelona raid; Xavi wants him gone with mind-boggling deal talks underway

Edu and Arsenal are readying a move for Barcelona star Ansu Fati

Edu and Arsenal are readying a move for Ansu Fati

Arsenal are reportedly pushing to bring Ansu Fati to the club before the summer window closes with Edu in talks over a favourable-looking raid for the frozen-out Barcelona winger.

The Gunners have invested heavily in their squad this summer as Mikel Arteta prepares for a Champions League campaign and also looks to build on last season’s second-placed finish in the Premier League. To that end, they have parted with £210m invested in the quality additions of Declan Rice, Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber.

Unfortunately for Arsenal, however, they have lost the services of Timber for potentially the rest of the season; the star suffering an ACL tear on debut in the 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest at Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners could consider potential replacements for Timber, though links to both Joao Cancelo and Benjamin Pavard failed to materialise with the pair instead heading elsewhere.

Indeed, the future of Cancelo – who has been cleared to leave Manchester City this summer – is certainly an interesting one. While the Gunners were keen to do a deal, the Portuguese full-back is instead poised to sign for Barcelona.

However, their chances of structuring a deal depend entirely on being able to move on some unwanted stars of their own first. And that is where Fati comes into play.

To that end, the 20-year-old winger – once touted as Lionel Messi’s heir at the Nou Camp – has been put up for sale this summer. Alongside fellow attackers Abde Ezzalzouli, who has attracted interest from Aston Villa, and Ferran Torres, the Blaugrana are looking to get at least one of the trio off their books before next week’s deadline.

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Xavi wants Fati out of Barcelona as price tag is set

As far as Fati is concerned, however, Barca coach Xavi Hernandez has made clear that he is willing to move Fati on.

He is yet to start this season, though has stepped off the bench twice, clocking up 33 minutes of action. And to illustrate how he has slipped down the pecking order, Xavi opted instead to hand a debut to 16-year-old sensation Lamine Yamal ahead of him.

Now, according to Football Transfers, Arsenal are pushing to bring Fati to Emirates Stadium before the summer window slams shut. Encouraged by Barcelona‘s stance, sporting director Edu reportedly wants to bring the 20-year-old to the club to present Arteta with another attacking option.

The Gunners are poised to move on one-time club-record signing Nicolas Pepe to the Saudi Pro-League, so will have a vacancy open up in their attack.

Barcelona are reportedly asking for a €58.5m (£50m) deal to secure a permanent deal. However, Football Transfers reports Barca are also open to a possible loan exit for Fati, which is one the two clubs are likely to discuss.

Any deal would likely see the LaLiga champions place an obligation to make the move permanent next summer. Edu, however, is working towards including only an option to make the arrangement full-time.

As such, talks are reportedly ongoing with Fati’s agent Jorge Mendes putting the wheels in motion to secure his signing for Arsenal.

Should a deal be done, Arsenal will have three solid options to cover first-choice duo Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka, with Leandro Trossard and Reiss Nelson also on standby for Arteta.

Fati has four years left on his deal at the Nou Camp, having scored 29 times in 111 appearances since debuting back in 2019/20.

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