?Highly rated Barcelona forward José Arnaiz has a release clause in his contract of just €20m (£17.7m) and is reportedly on the radar of Arsenal.
The 22-year-old has starred largely for Barcelona’s B team this season but has managed to bag three goals in as many appearances for the first team.
The young forward’s strike in Thursday’s 1-1 draw away to Celta Vigo in the Copa del Rey meant Arnaiz became the first player in Barça’s history to score with their first three goal attempts – a record not even Lionel Messi can match.
Arnaiz only made the move to Catalonia over the summer in a £3m deal from Real Vallodolid. However, his relatively meagre release clause in today’s market alongside his impressive outings so far this season have made some of Europe’s biggest clubs take note of the pacy wide-man according to ?Marca.
Should any suitors match the £17.7m fee inserted into the forward’s contract, Barcelona could be powerless to stop the move and keep hold of their highly-rated attacker.
Along with Arsenal, it is believed that Manchester United and Bayern Munich are also keeping tabs on the starlet.
?Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil has come down on the side of Cristiano Ronaldo in the never-ending debate of who the greatest player is between the Real Madrid star and Lionel Messi.
The former ?Real Madrid midfielder threw his two cents in to one of the biggest debates in world football during a mock press conference devised by ?Sky Sports.
A young group of Arsenal fans were putting questions to the German international and asked for his opinion on the subject.
Upon being asked the unoriginal question, Ozil replied: “I will go for Ronaldo because I played with him.”
(You may also be interested in: ?Mesut Ozil Says He is ‘Proud’ to Play for Arsenal Amid Transfer Speculation
His no-nonsense answer on the day represented something of a shift it seemed, with the Gunner having reluctantly ducked the same question last year, jesting that Zinedine Zidane was the best.
Ronaldo and Messi are tied on five Ballon d’Or awards each during their frightening careers and have been virtually impossible to split. It’s safe to say there’s no consensus as of yet and won’t be for some time.
?Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has played down rumours claiming Samuel Umtiti could leave the club.
The France international has become a fixture in the Catalan giants’ starting XI but has been linked with a move to Manchester City, who are looking to bolster their options at centre-back.
However, when asked about Umtiti’s future, Valverde insisted the 24-year-old is happy at Camp Nou.
He said, as quoted by ?Football Espana: “Umtiti? We do not worry about what others do, but he is clearly a great defender who we want to have for a long time.
“We are happy with him, we think he is happy in Barcelona and want to stay, and it does not matter what a clause is if he does not want to leave. Release clauses in Spain work this way and often can create difficulties, we are calm.”
Umtiti joined Barcelona in 2016 from Lyon in a deal worth €25m and has impressed, making 62 appearances in all competitions and starting regularly alongside club stalwart Gerard Pique.
His good form in Spain has earned him more appearances for the France national team, making 10 appearances in 2017 and scoring in the 3-2 friendly win over England in June.
Umtiti has faced competition for his place from the injury-prone Thomas Vermaelen and 33-year-old Javier Mascherano, who is expected to leave Barcelona in the summer and has been linked with a return to former club Liverpool.
Umtiti’s Barcelona are currently top of La Liga, nine points clear of second placed Atletico Madrid and face Chelsea in the next round of the Champions League.
There is absolutely nothing that Liverpool gain from selling Coutinho this January. Only parties who benefit are the player himself and Barca. Crushes all the positive momentum we’ve built up and sends out the completely wrong message.
— Joel Rabinowitz (@joel_archie) January 4, 2018
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“Nothing I could say now would help me, the player or the club.
Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho’s move to Barcelona may be further along than publicly stated, as the Brazilian has apparently already selected his squad number for his new club.
However, the jersey number Coutinho has eyed up comes with a hitch.
According to Diario Gol, via the ?Mirror, the Brazilian has set his sights on the number seven shirt, which he last wore back when he played for Inter.
The only problem is that the number seven is currently assigned to midfielder Arda Turan.
Coutinho is getting ever closer to his desired move to the Nou Camp, with Barcelona desperate to finalise the deal in January.
The La Liga giants, who failed with three bids in the summer (the highest being £114m) are reportedly willing to make an offer in excess of £130m.
Whilst the likelihood of Coutinho moving to Barcelona are close to becoming a sure thing, his desired squad number will only be his if Arda Turan vacates the Catalan giants. Turan has failed to make a single appearance in La Liga this season and seems destined to make his departure.
??A number of clubs, including Premier League side Everton, ??are reportedly interested in the Turkish international.?