Arsenal’s hopes of landing Barcelona midfielder could be scuppered as Catalan giants try to tempt him to stay

Arsenal’s hopes of signing Barcelona’s holding midfielder Sergi Samper could be about to be scuppered after the Catalan giants suggested that the 20-year-old could be involved with the first-team this season, according to the Daily Express.

Arsene Wenger had wanted to sign the Spaniard as he looked to bolster his defensive midfield options, the Express report, and a release clause in the youngster’s contract meant that a move could happen for as little as £8.4m.

However, the La Liga side’s technical secretary Robert Fernandez has suggested that Samper – who has yet to play in the top flight for Barca – has a future at the Nou Camp and can expect to be used in Luis Enrique’s side in the near future.

“At first, he will be in the B team, with the option, of course, of being involved with the first team,” he said.

With Barcelona’s transfer ban preventing any new signings playing for the club until January (via Guardian), Enrique may be keen to keep hold of the midfielder as cover for Sergio Busquets.

The Gunners will be hoping however, that if they trigger his release clause, they can convince him that he has a better chance of first-team football at the Emirates than he does at the Nou Camp.

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