by Lewis Ambrose
This week has seen Arsenal linked with 20 year-old Barcelona midfielder Sergi Samper, who is ready for first-team football.
It all begun with Mundo Deportivo claiming that Arsenal were prepared to meet Samper’s €12M release clause but now the story is beginning to make more sense.
Now the more reliable El Confidencial are shedding more light on the story, revealing that it is Samper’s dad who is driving the move. Samper looked around at Arsenal back in 2011 when the club signed then teammates Héctor Bellerín and Jon Toral. At the time the young Barcelona midfielder’s agent, Pere (brother of Pep) Guardiola kept the midfielder in Spain but, after seeing Bellerín’s rise Samper’s father now feels a mistake was made.
Pamper would certainly get close to the Arsenal team but has the likes of Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta, Ivan Rakitic, Javier Mascherano and Rafinha to compete with at Barça. He even still finds himself behind fellow young midfielder Sergi Roberto in the pecking order.
If it is Samper’s side pushing the move Arsenal could yet be tempted, but currently Kike Marin (of El Confidencial) insists the Gunners have no interest in a move.
— Kike Marin** (@Kike_Marin_) July 24, 2015
Maybe that will change if Arsenal don’t find another midfielder before the window closes, but it would be a strange choice to reject Samper when Francis Coquelin and Mikel Arteta are still only the natural choices in that position.