?Arsenal academy graduate Marcus McGuane has officially joined European giants Barcelona, a potentially huge opportunity for the 18-year-old Greenwich-born midfielder.
A Gunners statement on Tuesday afternoon confirmed that an ‘undisclosed fee’ has been agreed with the Catalan giants and wished the teenager all the best for the future.
A ?statement from Barça revealed that McGuane has been given an initial three-year contract, with the option of two further years. His mandatory buyout clause has been set at €25m.
An England and Republic of Ireland international at various junior levels, McGuane made his senior Arsenal debut in a Europa League game in Belarus against BATE Borisov in September. He subsequently made a second appearance against Red Star Belgrade in Serbia.
The youngster, who is due to turn 19 on Friday, has been a regular at Under-23 level for the Gunners and even captained the side shortly before each of his first-team games.
McGuane will begin life in Catalunya with Barcelona B in the Spanish second tier. From there, the ultimate dream will be to earn promotion to the first-team.
McGuane is one of a handful of English Arsenal youngsters to pursue opportunities overseas in recent months, with Chris Willock joining Benfica and Kaylen Hinds heading to Wolfsburg.
The deal also represents a reverse on the previously well travelled path from La Masia to north London, after the Gunners have poached Cesc Fabregas, Fran Merida, Hector Bellerin and Jon Toral from the Barça over the years with varying degrees of success.
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