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Arsenal ready to beat Barcelona to Vermeeren deal

According to Sport (via SportWitness), Arsenal are planning to beat Barcelona to the signing of Royal Antwerp wonderkid Arthur Vermeeren with a January bid.

The 18-year-old has made big strides with Antwerp over the last 12 months. He is currently a guaranteed starter in midfield for the Belgian champions and his development has impressed many elite European clubs including Arsenal & Barcelona.

Barcelona have already made checks on the player this season, but Sport claim that they could lose him to Arsenal, who are already advancing in talks with his representative. They are prepared to take the risk and sign him for £13 million this winter.

Big potential

Vermeeren is only in his 2nd second of senior football with Antwerp, but he is already garnering plenty of transfer interest. Clubs are keeping a close watch on his development and more teams could enter the pursuit ahead of the winter transfer window. Arsenal & Barcelona are known for working with young and emerging stars in their squad.

Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka are examples at Arsenal while Barcelona have Lamine Yamal, Gavi, Pedri, Fermin Lopez and Alejandro Balde. Vermeeren would be a quality signing for Barcelona with the number of graduates emerging into the senior squad, but their current financial problems mean that they may not afford to spend, come the beginning of the New Year.

Just yesterday, UEFA fined them for breaching their Financial Fair Play rules for 2022/23. This suggests that Barcelona may not enter the race to sign Vermeeren in January which would put Arsenal in a strong position. The Belgian has the ability to play in the no.6 and no.8 roles. He is strong ball-passer with good concentration skills. He has also improved with the creative aspect of his game and has the hallmarks to become an elite playmaker with the right level of coaching.

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