Arsenal Interested in Highly Rated Barcelona Forward With €20m Release Clause

?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.

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Along with Arsenal, it is believed that Manchester United and Bayern Munich are also keeping tabs on the starlet.

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Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil Backs Former Teammate in Eternal Debate of Ronaldo Versus Messi

?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.”

Ozil’s teammate Shkodran Mustafi – who was alongside him in the interview – however backed Messi as the best.

Ozil spent four illustrious years as a player for Los Blancos alongside the 2017 Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo, winning the ?La Liga and Copa del Rey titles. During his time at the Bernabeu under Jose Mourinho, Ozil was a vital member of the starting 11 and provided the Portuguese talisman with an abundance of assists.

Real Madrid - Training & Press Conference

(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.

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The World Cup winner did however hail Ronaldo as “one of the greatest in history” while claiming the 32-year-old had made him a “better player,” in November 2016 on Arsenal’s YouTube channel.

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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.

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Barcelona Manager Ernesto Valverde Plays Down Samuel Umtiti Exit Rumours as Man City Eye Move

?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.

Valencia v Barcelona - La Liga

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.”

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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.

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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.

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Catalan Paper Claims Liverpool Preparing to Break Philippe Coutinho Transfer Promise

?Liverpool reportedly promised wantaway star Philippe Coutinho in September that he could finalise a move to Barcelona in the January transfer window should a suitable fee be offered – an agreement which the Reds could turn their back on.

The Reds are bracing themselves for ?Barcelona’s return to the bidding table, a sequel to the summer saga which saw the Merseysiders reject the Spanish giants advances for their star playmaker.

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Coutinho has reportedly had his heart set on a move to Camp Nou since the summer, but despite having been forced to stay put at Anfield, despite submitting a formal transfer request, the 25-year-old has continued to impress during ?Liverpool’s campaign to date – scoring 12 goals and providing eight assists in 19 appearances. 

According to Catalan newspaper ?Sport, the Reds assured Coutinho that he would see his move materialise once an offer they deemed was acceptable was submitted. However, the Spanish outfit are preparing to offer £100m, a fee which is below the valuation Liverpool have of their midfield maestro.

The Reds are understood to be using Barcelona’s fee for the transfer of Ousmane Dembele from ?Borussia Dortmund in the summer as a guide, with the 20-year-old costing £120m. 

However, the Brazilian is seemingly prepared for a move so much so that earlier reports have suggested that he has already chosen his ?squad number at Barcelona. 

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Whilst speculation continues to run riot and a broken promise may cause Coutinho to down tools, his manager Jurgen Klopp remained cool, calm and collected on the issue when speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of his side’s FA Cup meeting with ?Everton on Friday – where Coutinho will be absent due to an injury.

Klopp said of Coutinho, via the ?Express“All the things I could say now would only create stories, I have nothing to say. It’s a transfer window. 

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“Nothing I could say now would help me, the player or the club. Maybe 80% of the cameras are only here for this so that’s a waste of time.”

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Coutinho Has Already Picked His Barcelona Squad Number But There’s a Catch

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.

Deportivo de La Coruna v FC Barcelona - La Liga

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.

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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.


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??A number of clubs, including Premier League side Everton, ??are reportedly interested in the Turkish international.?

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