Back in February, it was reported that Arsenal made a deadline day move for Junior Firpo and it is now being claimed the player rejected the chance to join Arsenal.
Arsenal reportedly made a late enquiry over 24-year-old Barcelona left-back Junior Firpo, according to reports in Spain.
Gerard Romero reported that Arsenal called up Barcelona on deadline day to ask about the availability of Junior Firpo. The assumption is that the Gunners wanted Firpo to act as their alternative to the currently-injured, but could make a surprise return, Kieran Tierney.
Now, Mundo Deportivo, via Tribal Football, claim that Barcelona were keen for the deal to happen but the player rejected the chance to join Arsenal.
As we pointed out at the time, it was a weird move. Signing the Barcelona defender would have left Arsenal’s Premier League squad overstocked, forcing them to leave someone out. Even worse, they wouldn’t have even had the option of including all their new signings in their Europa League squad.
You can only make three additions to the squad in January, and Arsenal would’ve had Mat Ryan, Martin Odegaard, Junior Firpo, and Gabriel Martinelli to add. Martinelli wasn’t in the squad for the first half of the campaign due to his injury problems.
It’s very hard to imagine Arsenal leaving Odegaard or Martinelli out, and the club would probably rather gamble on Cedric at left-back (by excluding Firpo) than Runarsson in goal (by excluding Ryan).
As a result, Firpo could only have played in the Premier League, and even that would come with the added drawback of needing to exclude someone else.
Firpo is expected to leave Barcelona this summer as he is not in Ronald Koeman’s plans, but unless Mikel Arteta can change his mind, he won’t be coming to London.
When Firpo signed from Real Betis in 2019 for a sum of €18m on a five-year-deal his contract included a €200-million release clause. There is also €12m in ‘variables’ in his contract which would see his initial fee rise. €7m regard the number of games he plays and, if Barcelona did not trigger this clause, Real Betis are to receive 20% of any future transfer in a sell-on fee.
Firpo has made 40 appearances in total for Barcelona but has featured in just six La Liga games this season.