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According to Spanish journalist Gerardo Romero, Arsenal are ‘close to agreement’ for young Barcelona defender Joel Lopez. Head of Football Relations Raul Sanllehi reportedly persuaded the coveted fullback to reject Liverpool’s advances this summer.
Sanllehi left Barcelona to join Arsenal in February and will no doubt have been using his links with his former club to get this deal over the line. The Gunners have made a lot of signing from Barcelona previously – Cesc Fabregas, Hector Bellerin, Fran Merida, Ignasi Miquel and Jon Toral – and Lopez could be next for a bargain, as Arsenal only need to pay his training fees.
Goal believe the 15-year-old is one of many who could leave La Masia this summer, as rising through the youth ranks to the first-team has been a more difficult task in recent years, but Arsenal still pride themselves on developing youth talent to eventually blood them with the seniors at the right time.
The left-back will hope to emulate Hector Bellerin, who joined Arsenal from Barcelona as a young teenager and is now one of the best fullbacks in the Premier League. Bellerin has been in the first-team since 2014 and has gone on to make 162 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners, winning two FA Cups and two Community Shields.