According to a report in the Spanish paper Diario Sport, Barcelona’s highly-rated goalkeeper Inaki Pena has caught the attentions of a number of Premier League clubs.
The 16-year-old is widely regarded as the best shot-stopper in the Catalan club's youth ranks, having already been capped as a Spanish U17 international and known across Europe as a leading star of the future.
However, this is where the dilemma begins. Similarly to Cesc Fabregas and Hector Bellerin, Barca’s young stars are unprotected and Arsenal among others in the past have taken advantage of the situation.
The Gunners previously saw Fabregas become one of the world’s best midfielders, eventually selling him back to the Nou Camp, whereas Bellerin has now broken into the first-team in North London.
Financially, Barca cannot compete with the likes of Arsenal in regards to youth contracts and the club fear another Fabregas-type dilemma with Pena amid Premier League interest.
“The problem Barca face is a number of top English teams have called Pena’s representative. In this moment, neither the Catalans nor any other Spanish club can compete economically with these clubs. The offers for him can be up to five times more than what Barca can offer,” the report states.
While Arsenal haven’t been directly named as a possible suitor, Arsene Wenger’s ideals of brining in top youngster plus his former links to the Nou Camp suggest Pena is very much on their radar.
The Gunners are currently in the midst of a goalkeeping dilemma, with recent reports in The Mirror pinpointing Chelsea’s Petr Cech as the club’s number one target this summer.
The 33-year-old still has plenty of good years in him left, and who knows perhaps Pena could turn out to be the another Victor Valdes and a viable long-term number one option at the Emirates Stadium.