Arsenal willing to pay Barcelona whizkid's €12m release clause - report

Sergio Samper

Arsenal are keen on signing Barcelona prospect Sergi Samper, according to reports in Spain.

Arsenal have long seen Barcelona's youth team as potential transfer targets to be acquired, most famously with Cesc Fabregas.

Reports in Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo now claim there is a new player very much in their sights, midfielder Sergi Samper.

The paper report that the Gunners originally attempted to sign Samper, 19, three years ago when they convinced Hector Bellerin and Jon Toral to make the jump from the La Liga giants.

Samper has since signed a professional contract with Barcelona, but he is yet to make a single competitive appearance for their first team.

Now Arsenal have made fresh enquiries regarding the teenager, with MD writing: 

"A few days ago, Arsenal returned to communicate their desire to bring him to Arsenal, but this time for the first team and (willing to) pay the €12 million buyout clause. Samper current contract with the club, which expires in June 2017."

However, the paper go onto add that Samper has however made it clear to Arsenal he has no plans to leave Barcelona, wanting to fulfil his dream of playing at Barcelona.

An Spain under-19 international, Samper played 40 games for Barcelona B last season, and the plan for him to step up to the first team may come sooner rather than later.

With a FIFA imposed transfer ban over the next two windows, young players like Samper, and Sergi Roberto, are likely to stand a better chance of being called upon by manager Luis Enrique.

The manager has reportedly held talks recently with him to assure Samper his future does indeed lie at the Spanish side, and convince him to rebuff Arsenal's interest.

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