Arsenal linked striker warned: 'It would be a mistake to leave'

Barcelona's Antonio Sanabria, linked to Arsenal and Manchester City has been told it would be a mistake to leave the Spanish giants.

Antonio Sanabria is the young striker who is causing a small panic at Barcelona over his refusal to commit so far to a new deal.

At 17, the B team forward is already a senior Paraguayan international, and has four goals in three games in the UEFA Youth League this season.

The striker is said to want more assurances about first team football, leading him to consider his options while there is a small €3 million release clause written into his current deal, which would be increased dramatically with any new contract.

The figure has Arsenal and Manchester City circling, and his agent yesterday said: "His era in Barça B, even if it just started, is now over. This is an opportunity for him to be in the first team for another great team. It is now time to decide his future. Apart from the financial side, the difference is that other clubs want him as a first-team player."

However hold your horses, because the Barcelona staff are trying to warn him off.

Technical youth director Jordi Vinyals said today: "I'm not the right person to talk to Toni, it is an issue that concerns the club and I am sure that it will operate at it's best.

"The last word, however, is up to the player, but I would be surprised if he decides to leave. Discussing football, it would be a mistake to leave Barca, so I hope that his decision will be to stay."

Would it really be a mistake to leave however? 

The example of Cesc Fabregas clearly points to no, as does Gerard Pique, who despite moving back to Barcelona made successes of themselves in England. 

There have been players leave however who have not had the same fulfilment, Ignasi Miquel and Fran Merida are two ex-Barcelona players who have struggled to push their careers on, both of who joined Arsenal.

Whether the Gunners would be a good move for Sanabria however is uncertain, nor Manchester City. He would be leaving one title chasing side where he cannot get a game, and gambling on another.

Unless he is prepared to take a step down to a lower league like the Dutch or Portuguese one, or settle for a more mid-table club, it may make the best sense for the teenager to stay where he is and take his chances.

image: © mariosp

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