Arsenal are close to making their first signing of the January transfer window, bringing in Denis Suarez from Barcelona, according to the reliable Di Marzio.
Di Marzio claim that Suarez is ‘close to joining Arsenal’, reuniting with his former coach Unai Emery. The midfielder seems set to leave Barcelona, after struggling for game time, and will ‘most likely’ move on in the current window. AC Milan and AS Roma also made inquiries, but Arsenal are now ‘in the lead’ for his signature.
Catalan radio outlet RAC1 claimed on Friday that Suarez was choosing between Arsenal, Chelsea, and staying with Barcelona until the summer. They reported that he’d make a final decision in the next week. However, it now seems Arsenal are the clear front-runners to complete a deal.
Suarez really hasn’t had much game time this season. By the start of December, he’d only made one start and one substitute appearance in all competitions. Things got a bit better last month, as he scored two goals in a Copa Del Rey start, then made three further substitute appearances in La Liga and the Champions League.
Nonetheless, that still only adds up to 221 minutes of football across the entire campaign. The midfielder responded to exit rumours by telling the Spanish media last month: “I work to play and I’m not having minutes. If I do not play … we’ll see.”
Spanish outlet AS reported in November that Suarez had realised how far he was from the Barcelona first-choice starting eleven, and he wanted to secure a move away as a result. AS went on to claim that the Spaniard has made a Premier League move his priority, with Arsenal as a ‘favourite option’.
Suarez believes Unai Emery’s style of football would suit him perfectly. Emery already knows his strengths and weaknesses very well, having spent a year with the midfielder on loan at Sevilla when he was in charge there.
The pair won the Europa League together, but Suarez ended up completing a transfer to Villarreal at the end of the season. After a year, Barcelona exercised their buy-back clause, but it’s not exactly clear why, because they’ve never given him consistent starts since then.
We’ll see if Suarez completes his move to reunite with his former boss in the next week.