Arsenal Star Target Hands In Transfer Request to Force January Move

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BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 27: Neto of FC Barcelona looks on during the La Liga Santander match between FC Barcelona and Villarreal CF at Camp Nou on September 27, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN – SEPTEMBER 27: Neto of FC Barcelona looks on during the La Liga Santander match between FC Barcelona and Villarreal CF at Camp Nou on September 27, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

 

Barcelona goalkeeper Neto’s agent submitted a transfer request amid links to Arsenal, according to his manager Ronald Koeman.

Speaking ahead of the Super Cup final, Ronald Koeman admitted Neto’s agent Kia Joorabchian has submitted a transfer request on his client’s behalf.

“Young people are one thing and Neto is another,” Koeman said. “His representative has requested an exit and we have said no. We want to have the team well covered in all positions.”

Mundo Deportivo report that Neto was pushing for a loan, with Arsenal’s ongoing interest in him. The media in England and Spain have recently linked the Gunners with a move for the goalkeeper this month.

Barcelona have always insisted he won’t leave on loan. Initial reports suggested they might accept a straight sale, for around €21m, but not a temporary transfer.

Mikel Arteta is on the market for a goalkeeper, given the concerns about Runar Alex Runarsson’s ability to step up if Bernd Leno suffers any kind of injury or dip in form in the second half of the campaign.

Neto himself wants to leave Barcelona over a lack of game-time, so he’s trying to get assurances from Arsenal that he’d be the number one in North London. That’s another potential stumbling block, given Leno’s recent form.

For now, it’s interesting to get confirmation that Neto really does want to leave Barcelona, but there’s clearly a long way to go to convince the club to change their stance on his exit.

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