FC Barcelona look set to offload several young prospects from their academy this summer, with two set for moves to the Premier League.
According to Spanish journalist Albert Roge, 16-year-old defender Joel Lopez has already completed a move to Arsenal and the deal will be announced very shortly.
Lopez has been with Barcelona since the age of seven, progressing through the club’s world-famous La Masia academy. However, his exit from the Catalan club has been rumoured for weeks after the left-back recently rejected the offer of a new contract.
Arsenal’s head of recruitment Raul Sanllehi joined the club from Barça and it is believed that his knowledge of the club and its players were key to the signing of Lopez.
Meanwhile, Roge also believes that attacking midfielder Adria Bernabe is set for a move to Manchester City, where he would link up with former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium.
Guardiola has a long association with Barça stretching back to his playing days and also coached the club’s B team before graduating to become manager of the senior side, meaning the Manchester City boss has strong connections with his former club – which could play a part in securing Bernabe’s signature.
Bernabe, who is just 17 years old, has seemingly already confirmed his departure from La Masia, after posting a heartfelt goodbye to Barcelona on his Instagram account. The post read: “Today is a hard day since I have to say goodbye to the place I have called home for the last five years. I only have words of thanks for people who have helped me during this time.”
The midfielder spent five years at Barça, having joined the club from city rivals Espanyol at the age of 12. His capture represents an attempt by Manchester City to build for the future, with the likes of star midfielder David Silva now over the age of 30.