Marseille youngster Maxime Lopez has been linked with a move to Barcelona.

The 19-year-old midfielder has been linked with Arsenal in the past, but now appears to be a target for the Catalan giants.

That’s according to Mundo Deportivo, who report that Barcelona have made contact with the player’s agent in an attempt to head off competition from the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and Real Madrid.

Barcelona believe they would have the advantage as Lopez is a great admirer of Andres Iniesta and the way Barcelona like to play. Marseille extended the 19-year-old’s contract until 2021 last season, knowing full well there will be plenty of interest in him.

Lopez emerged from the academy in 2016 and has gone on to make 43 appearances for the Ligue 1 side. His style of play has been likened to that of Samir Nasri, another graduate of Marseille at youth level.

Arsenal signed Nasri back in 2008, during a time when they were on top of the French market and able to attract its biggest talents. In recent years, we haven’t been as successful at signing those talents.

If the Gunners want to sign Lopez, they’ll have to fend off a lot of competition.

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News and feature writer with a BA in Creative and Professional Writing from the University of East London. Long-time Arsenal fan also following Sevilla and local side Southend United. You can find me on Twitter @jeinchy29 talking about Arsenal and the issues affecting the English game,