Arsenal have allegedly entered the race to sign Rodrigo Bentancur from Boca Juniors.
The 18-year-old midfielder, who has one goal in his five league appearances this season, has been scouted by Arsenal reps who are looking to find long-term replacements for players like Santi Cazorla.
The scouts will watch Bentancur again on Monday morning when they face Tigre in their Primera Division game at the Estadio José Dellagiovanna.
The Uruguayan is allegedly being tracked by Real Madrid and Juventus in addition to Arsenal and Boca believe that they are destined to lose their young star with so many rich European clubs hovering. But perhaps not this summer.
A gifted midfielder who came through the ranks at Boca, Bentancur is seen as one of the best young talents in South America but doesn’t seem overly keen on going anywhere just yet with his father saying recently “He has his friends at Boca, he likes it there, we appreciate how the club has looked after him and given him a chance at the top level.”
Of course, the first problem that crops up (after him not wanting to leave) is the inability to get a work permit for Bentancur unless Arsenal can show that he is an exceptional talent. That has been hard to prove in some cases (such as Joel Campbell – even Ryo Miyaichi got one ahead of him) yet surprisingly pain-free with others (Denilson).
Clubs in Spain don’t face this problem, hence why Arsenal park players there until they are eligible for a passport.
Leaving aside the obvious advantages of signing for a club like Real Madrid over Arsenal, language and culture might also play a part.
Although he’s a Uruguayan, he plays in Argentina, a Spanish speaking country.
Perhaps a story to keep an eye on, but not really one to get excited about just yet.