Everyone is aware of the financial issues facing Barcelona at the moment, with the club over €1 billion in debt and struggling to stay within the La Liga financial fair play regulations.
This means the La Liga champions are restricted in what they can do in January, with the arrival of Vitor Roque expected to be the only bit of business, and even the strikers arrival is not guaranteed.
Arsenal are looking to take advantage of the situation to snap up a Barcelona transfer target, this according to a report this morning in Mundo Deportivo.
Arsenal looking to secure the signing of Arthur Vermeeren in January
Vermeeren, who is highly thought of in Belgium with Royal Antwerp has become a transfer target of Barcelona with the midfielder a favourite of Xavi and the Barcelona management group.
There was little he could do as Royal Antwerp were comfortably beaten by Barcelona in the Champions League, but Vermeeren has obvious talent.
Not only is he defensively sound, but he can play between the lines and his positioning is excellent for a player so young.
Barcelona was believed to be high on approaching Antwerp next summer, but Arsenal could swoop in to secure the signing of Vermeeren for just €20 million in January.
It’s little wonder that Arsenal are admirers of Vermeeren considering they’re managed by former La Masia player Mikel Arteta, a player who grew up in the Barcelona style and is implementing a similar style at Arsenal to good success.
Barcelona will struggle to sign a pivot in January and it’s likely they’ll have to make do with Oriol Romeu in that position until he summer at least, where it may be too late for Vermeeren.
According to Mundo Deportivo, Arsenal will face competition for the young midfielder’s signature. Liverpool, Manchester United, West Ham and Brighton, Borussia Dortmund , Leipzig , Ajax and Monaco are also interested.