Arsenal plotting move for Barcelona out-of-favour playmaker

By | February 13, 2021

Arsenal failed with a January loan swoop for Barcelona youngster Riqui Puig before landing Martin Odegaard, according to reports.

The Gunners were poised to add some creativity last month, after finally getting rid of Mesut Ozil and his whopping salary.

Manager Mikel Arteta has seen the likes of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struggle for regular goals this campaign, while Willian has flopped.

It saw the Spaniard move to secure the services of Norwegian wonderkid Odegaard on loan from Real Madrid.

But according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, the 22-year-old was not Arsenal’s first choice.

The Italian transfer guru revealed that the Gunners were in ‘serious’ discussions with Barcelona over borrowing the 21-year-old prodigy.

Ronald Koeman has only handed the gifted attacking midfielder one LaLiga start this season, leading the English side to believe that a deal could be done but ultimately, the Dutch tactician decided to keep Riqui around.

Fabrizio said: “At the start of the window Arsenal were seriously trying to sign Riqui Puig on loan with a buy option, in a similar deal as Odegaard, also with Riqui Puig at Barcelona.

“Barcelona said let’s see with Koeman, if he wants to keep the player if he wants to play, let’s wait some weeks.

“Then in the middle of January they said no, Riqui Puig is not moving, we are keeping him.”

He has made 29 appearances for his boyhood side in total, although has been largely upstaged by 18-year-old starlet Pedri in the pecking order.

Arsenal instead managed to grab Martin, who had only made nine appearances for Real Madrid this season.

Odegaard has made two substitute appearances since signing, with Emile Smith-Rowe keeping his place in Arteta’s starting eleven.