Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Barcelona Chases Key Trio, Claims Arsenal Is a Selling Club

Arsenal's resolve looks set to be tested in the summer, as Barcelona seem to have identified Robin Van Persie, Emmanuel Adebayor, and Cesc Fabregas as the key signings that they want to make over the coming season.

Van Persie seems to be the first piece of the puzzle that they wish to add to the set up at the Camp Nou.

Thierry Henry, another ex-Arsenal player, has stated his want to move away from Barcelona in the summer, with Manchester City in prime position to snap him up for around £10m and Los Cules see the Dutchman as the ideal replacement in that left sided berth.

Barcelona tried to sign Van Persie in January but to no avail. They offered cash plus Aleksandr Hleb, who had only moved to Camp Nou in the summer from Arsenal for £12m.

With Arsenal just outside the coveted Champions League positions, this transfer was rejected without thought as they would not have had enough time to replace the Dutchman's firepower up front.

However, with Van Persie entering the last 12 months of his contract in the summer, Barca will come back with an improved offer which Arsenal will have to consider carefully as their striker will be able to negotiate a free transfer come January.

This proposed transfer of Van Persie and those of Adebayor and Fabregas may hinge on Arsenal's qualification for the Champions League. All three have intimated as recently as Christmas that they would consider leaving the Emirates based club should they not finish in the top four.

Barcelona do not expect to sign all three in one transfer window, but given time they fully expect to bring in at least two if not the full trio. They feel they are in a strong bargaining position regarding Van Persie and that his signing may spur his teammates to follow.

With Arsenal struggling so far this term on the back of injuries to key personnel, they have so far failed to replace both Flamini and Hleb in the set up.

Many Arsenal fans are said to be delighted with Andrei Arshavin's signing, but are perplexed by his lone arrival. Add that to the Russian's signing being obviously for next season and Gunners fans face finishing outside the top four for the first time in recent memory.

Losing Van Persie in January would have been criminal and it is easy to understand the club's stance, but should he leave in the summer it might be seen as another step back, especially if the team finish outside the Champions League.

twitter / WillieGannon