Arsenal are interested in taking Barcelona goalkeeper Neto on loan for the rest of the season, according to reports.
Mikel Arteta has confirmed that Arsenal are considering their options when it comes to goalkeepers this month. It is one of the main positions they are looking to strengthen.
Emiliano Martinez left the club to join Aston Villa in the summer, as Arsenal could not provide him with regular gametime. It’s a decision they may have a hint of regret about, as he has continued to impress at Villa Park.
Meanwhile, Arsenal brought in Runar Alex Runarsson as a replacement to provide competition for number one Bernd Leno.
However, Runarsson has failed to impress and has made some glaring mistakes, including in the Carabao Cup defeat to Manchester City recently.
There has since been speculation that Arsenal could send Runarsson out on loan to regain his confidence. In that event, they would need a new backup keeper.
They could try to sign a goalkeeper even if Runarsson stays. Third-choice Matt Macey recently left for Hibernian, freeing up a space in that department at the Emirates Stadium.
Now, according to Sky Sports and Diario Sport, Arsenal are weighing up a bid for Barcelona’s Neto.
Neto is used to playing the role of backup goalkeeper, having done so previously for Juventus and for the past 18 months at Barcelona.
The Brazilian has played just 14 times for Barca, although he has found more gametime this season when Marc-Andre Ter Stegen has been absent.
Ter Stegen is back in the fold, though, meaning Neto is short of gametime again. A move away could spring him back into action.
Neto a long-term target for Arsenal
Should Arsenal make a move for him, they would be hoping he can be the man to keep Leno on his toes. At present, they do not have enough competition for the German.
Therefore, they want to take Neto on loan for the next six months. However, Barcelona would prefer to sell him, setting their asking price at around €21m.
If Arsenal can find an agreement for the Brazilian, it would spell the end of a long-running transfer chase. They have been linked with Neto ever since his days with Valencia.
There were even rumours of a move for him during the last summer transfer window, but they missed out. Now, they may try to tempt Barcelona into letting Neto leave once again.