By Billy Hawkins
Arsenal have secured the signing of Barcelona starlet Joel Lopez, who has rejected a contract extension with the Camp Nou club to instead move to north London.
Joel, a 16-year-old left-back, has been with Barca since the age of seven, but he has decided to leave Catalonia to further his playing prospects, as reported by Sport.
Raul Sanllehi, Arsenal’s head of recruitment, is believed to have played a key role in the deal. Sanllehi left Barcelona for the Gunners at the start of the year, and Joel emerged as a target for Arsenal soon after his appointment in north London.
As the teenager rejected Barcelona’s contract offer, Arsenal will only have to pay a compensation fee to secure Joel’s signature.
Arsenal are also hoping to wrap up the signing of another talented teenager this summer, with Paris Saint-Germain talent Yacine Adli close to completing a switch to north London.