Can Arsenal tempt teenage Barcelona striker Sanabria?

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Arsenal are reportedly hoping to plunder Barcelona’s youth set-up once again, this time for 17-year-old Antonio Sanabria.

Ever since they signed Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona as a 16-year-old, and quickly moulded him into one of the best players in the Premier League, there is always plenty of interest when Arsenal take a shine to a youngster at the Spanish side’s youth academy.

The latest name to be linked to the Emirates is 17-year-old striker Antonio Sanabria, who is viewed as amongst the most exciting talents in the Barcelona academy.

Barcelona reportedly battled with Real Madrid to secure Sanabria in 2010, and are keen to keep hold of the youngster this summer, but Arsenal might hope to use the example of Fabregas to prise him away from the La Liga champions.

Arsene Wenger has an excellent record of developing young talent, and Sanabria might view the competition for places in the Barcelona first team as ridiculously high, especially with the club splashing out on Neymar this summer. Clearly the Barcelona academy is a good place to progress as a young player, but the Paraguayan could have an easier route to senior football at Arsenal.

Sanabria is currently at the Under-20 World Cup in Turkey, and has impressed as Paraguay qualified from the group stages after beating Mexico and drawing with Greece and Mali.

Paraguay’s next match is against Iraq, who qualified for the last 16 ahead of England, on the 3rd July, and any decision over the youngster’s future is likely to be delayed until after his participation in Turkey ends.

Barcelona will no doubt make it difficult for Arsenal to pluck Sanabria away from Spain, but they have in the past been able to bring their youth academy players back after they have excelled elsewhere, including Fabregas, although the Paraguayan is unlikely to have formed as strong a link with the club as the midfielder.

However if Arsenal could sign Sanabria, along with Yaya Sanogo this summer, they would be adding two excellent young strikers to their academy.

Add in the already present Chuba Akpom, and the Gunners could secure the long-term future of their strike force over the next few months.

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