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18-year-old Barcelona midfield target in advanced negotiations to join a Premier League club



Photo by TOM GOYVAERTS/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images

Arthur Vermeeren has emerged as the most recent defensive midfielder to be linked with a move to Barcelona this summer.

The Royal Antwerp youngster, who has enjoyed a stellar breakthrough season in Belgium this season, has been identified as a potential long-investment target for Barça as they look to reinforce their ranks in the middle of the park.

However, Barcelona are set to face a massive setback in their pursuit of Vermeeren, with a report from Mundo Deportivo suggesting that the youngster is already in advanced talks with a Premier League club.

Barcelona had been scouting Vermeeren a lot recently and had received good reports about the defensive midfielder. He was lauded for his technical abilities in the middle of the park, which is why he was identified in a more creative role – something more in line with Xavi or Andres Iniesta’s style of play.

But it appears Barcelona are not going to have their hands on Vermeeren, at least for now. The 18-year-old is in talks with an English club and once all parties reach full agreement, the player could remain at Royal Antwerp for another season on loan.

That means Barcelona must shift their attention to other players in the market. They have been closely linked with a move for Ilkay Gundogan, but are likely to face disappointment there as well, with the German strongly considering the possibility of renewing his contract at Man City.

Another target is Martin Zubimendi, but the Real Sociedad star could cost a fortune. The same applies to Ruben Neves, meaning the overall market outlook is not positive for Barcelona at the time.

Whether that would change in the coming weeks remains to be seen, especially once the club receive approval from La Liga over the Financial Feasibility Bill.

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