Arsenal's £9.5m target could have become a Tottenham player in January

Arsenal are eyeing up Sergi Samper for a deal this winter. But if Spurs had not have sacked Andre Villas-Boas he might already be in North London.

Arsenal are already believed to be planning some of their January business, with a player dubbed the 'next Fabregas reportedly in the cross-hairs of the club.

Sergi Samper is considered one of Barcelona's hottest prospects after an excellent campaign with the 'B' team last term and is now set to launch an assault on the Barca first-team, especially with Luis Enrique giving an extra incentive for young players to come through the ranks.

But the 19-year-old is said to be in Arsenal's sights, as they look to strengthen their midfield area, especially when it comes to a more youthful recruit.

He has a release clause in his contract of around £9.5 million and should he not get regular football with the Barca first-team before January, he might be tempted to make the move.

Arsenal have tried before to sign Sergi. In 2011 they attempted to bring him in along with former team-mates Hector Bellerin and Jon Toral, but he remained a Barca player.

And if things had panned out differently, he might have ended up at Tottenham Hotspur.

In October 2013 Andre Villas-Boas headed out to watch the player in action whilst he was Tottenham coach. He observed him taking on Deportivo La Coruna, playing in the Sergio Busquets role and Tottenham were keeping tabs on him after the scouting mission.

Of course any chance AVB ever had of bringing him to White Hart Lane in the 2014 January transfer window ended, when, on December the 16th, he was sacked by Tottenham Hotspur after a 5-0 defeat at home to Liverpool.

Tottenham's loss might be about to become Arsenal's gain, should Sergi Samper end up as the latest recruit to swap Catalonia for North London.

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