Junior Firpo turned down a January move to Arsenal but is still keen to leave Barcelona in the upcoming summer transfer window, as reported by Calciomercato.
Mikel Arteta wanted a new left-back last month.
But, when the clock struck 11 on February 1, Arsenal actually looked weaker on the left flank than they did some four weeks earlier.
Sead Kolasinac and Ainsley Maitland-Niles departed for Schalke and West Brom respectively, leaving the right-footed Cedric Soares and Bukayo Saka as the only possible deputies for a crocked Kieran Tierney.
Cedric has endured miserable afternoons against both Wolves and Aston Villa recently too, with Arsenal losing twice in the absence of a seemingly-irreplaceable Scotland international.
This is not to say Arsenal did not try to reinforce a problem position during the winter window.
Calciomercato claims that the London giants made an approach for Firpo, an £18 million former Spain U21 star who has failed to oust Jordi Alba from Barcelona’s starting XI.
But the one-time Real Betis flyer opted to stay in Catalonia for personal reasons. Furthermore, Barca were unwilling to let Firpo go without a replacement in mind; a decision Arsenal maybe should have made when West Brom came calling for Maitland-Niles on deadline day.
This is not to suggest that Firpo sees his long-term future at the Camp Nou, however. Far from it.
CM adds that the attack-minded 24-year-old has his heart set on a summer move, although he would only consider joining a club where he would be a guaranteed starter.
Given that Tierney has improved exponentially since joining Arsenal from Celtic, emerging as one of the first names on Arteta’s team-sheet, don’t be surprised if Firpo once again gives the Gunners the cold shoulder.