Barcelona deflated as Arsenal beat Liverpool to key youngster

Arsenal are reportedly on the brink of announcing a deal to sign young Barcelona defender Joel Lopez, according to reports in the Spanish media.

Spanish newspaper Sport says that the 16-year-old left-back has turned down a new contract at the Nou Camp in order to move to England  – much to the LaLiga champions’ frustrations.

Barcelona had made numerous moves to persuade the youngster to stay, but have become resigned to his departure.

Liverpool were also said to be in the running to sign the player many at the club felt would be the long-term successor to Jordi Alba, but Sport claim that Arsenal, who have been chasing Lopez for months, are close to an announcement.

Arsenal would only have to pay a compensation fee, because Lopez is still only 16 years old.

Lopez would follow Cesc Fabregas and Hector Bellerin in leaving Barcelona for north London – and the Gunners will hope the left-back enjoys similar success.


His signing would be the second new arrival of the Emery era, with the Spaniard swooping on Juventus earlier this month to bring in Stephan Lichtsteiner on a free transfer.


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