Arsenal to rival Barcelona in transfer chase for £30m youngster but Gunners face setback


Arsenal are ready to go head-to-head with Barcelona for the signing of Sevilla winger Bryan Gil, who is currently on loan at Eibar, according to reports. The 20-year-old is being closely watched by both clubs after impressing for the La Liga strugglers this season, scoring three goals and claiming two assists in 16 top-flight appearances.

Gil is highly rated by parent club Sevilla, who have included a £35million release clause in his contract.

He has already been compared to the likes of Brazilian star Neymar and is seen by many in Spain as one of the country’s hottest prospects.

Naturally, Barcelona are long-term admirers of the player, with the Catalan club’s interest confirmed on Friday by scout Vaya Ballabriga.

“He can do certain things and has great versatility, as he can play at full-back in the middle or on the left wing,” he told Marca.

“It’s impressive. I have spoken with Ramon Planes [Barcelona’s technical director] about him and he has Bryan Gil in mind.”

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However, it has emerged that Arsenal are also eyeing Gil’s relatively modest release clause and could look to swoop ahead of Barca to secure his signature, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Despite both clubs showing interest in the player, they are likely to face a race against time in order to take advantage of the clause.

This is because Sevilla are hoping to extend his current deal, which expires in 2023, by two years while slapping a new price tag of £150m on their star man.

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The report suggests that a preliminary agreement may already be in place between the parties, and could be officially announced by the early stages of next week with Gil in line to receive a significant pay rise as a result.

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Such a move would undoubtedly price the Gunners out of a transfer, and possibly Barca as well, with the Spanish giants currently dealing with financial problems as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Their ability to commit to big-money transfers is being hampered further by the uncertainty over the future of the club’s hierarchy ahead of the presidential election next month.

Gil hinted that he could be open to a move away from Sevilla when quizzed directly on the rumours surrounding him earlier this week.

However. he stressed that his focus remains with the Andalusian club and impressing while out on loan in order to stake his claim for a starting spot next season.

“I always like to be on the agenda of one of the best teams,” he told Marca. “But I have a contract until 2023 with Sevilla.

“My agent will take care of whether to do it or not. For now I cannot, and I do not, want to get involved in those things.

“At Sevilla there are a lot of top players. If I want to play for Sevilla I have to work against the competition, otherwise I will always have to be from one place to another.

“My representative helped me a lot when it came to leaving Seville. He convinced me to leave, to have minutes in La Liga and that is what has come the best for me.”

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