Arsenal boss Arteta wants ‘black sheep’ of Barcelona dressing room in ‘surprise’ €15m transfer

Joe Williams
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta claps the fans

Mikel Arteta wants Arsenal to make a bid for Barcelona defender Eric Garcia in the summer transfer window, according to reports.

The Gunners are leading the way in the Premier League and are almost certain to finish in the top four and guarantee Champions League football next season.

Arteta has built a squad over the last three transfer windows capable of challenging for major honours but there are still doubts at the depth of the Arsenal squad if they get hit badly by injuries.

But Arteta will look to rectify that in the summer transfer window with numerous players already being linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium.

One player on their radar is former Manchester City defender Garcia, who left the Etihad Stadium to join Barcelona on a free transfer in 2021.

But now Spanish publication Nacional claims that Arteta – who coached Garcia at Man City – is ‘very attentive to the delicate situation’ of Garcia at Barcelona with rumours he is ‘not part of Xavi Hernandez’s plans’.

Garcia has only started 13 matches in all competitions this season and the Barcelona hierarchy ‘Joan Laporta and Mateu Alemany continue to believe that the best thing to do is to show him the exit door’.

Barcelona are looking to get €15m for the centre-back with the Spain international called the ‘black sheep’ of the Barcelona dressing room.

Arsenal have now ‘appeared on the scene’ for Garcia to the ‘surprise’ of ‘everyone at the Camp Nou’ and Barcelona ‘won’t hesitate’ to accept ‘an attractive enough offer’.

Garcia ‘would not look down on a return to the Premier League’ but ‘continues working in silence’ as he waits for his opportunity.

Nicolas Pepe remains Arsenal’s record signing, joining from Lille for £72m in 2019, but he was shipped out on loan in the summer to French side Nice.

And, speaking to France Bleu Azur, Pepe is unsure whether he has a future at the Emirates Stadium and has put the ball in Arteta’s court.

Pepe said: “I’m very happy in Nice. There’s two important months left for the club. I want to focus on these last two months and I don’t know about after. There will be talks. I don’t know what Arsenal want to do. I still have a lot of friends over there. I could have been important for that club, but they are the manager’s choices.”

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