Barcelona deny Neto transfer request following Arsenal interest

Arsenal's transfer target Neto is looking to leave Barcelona
Arsenal’s transfer target Neto is looking to leave Barcelona (Getty)

Barcelona have turned down Neto’s transfer request with the goalkeeper being targeted by Arsenal.

The Gunners are looking to sign a new goalkeeper to provide stronger competition for Bernd Leno, with summer signing Alex Runarsson failing to impress since his arrival from Dijon.

Arsenal had explored the possibility of signing Neto last summer but Barcelona would not entertain a loan deal and were holding out for an £18 million fee.

Mikel Arteta’s side have reignited their interest in the 31-year-old this month, and the Brazilian is pushing to leave Camp Nou.

But Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman says the club have denied Neto’s request to switch clubs before the end of the month.

‘If we talk about players, we talk about youngsters,’ said Koeman.

Barcelona are demanding an £18 million fee for Neto
Barcelona are demanding an £18 million fee for Neto (Getty)

‘I’ve said several times for some players it could be good for them to have more minutes to improve as players.

‘Neto is a different case, it’s true his agent asked the club to move on and we said no because he’s important for us and we want to have all positions covered.’

Neto has made nine appearances for Barcelona this season but remains the second-choice option behind Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Arteta suggested this week that Arsenal were looking to sign new competition for Leno before the window closes.

‘There is nothing there yet,’ said Arteta.

‘We are assessing the situation with the three positions on the goalkeeping area and we will find a different solution, probably in this window.

‘The discussion we had in the summer within the club are a little bit different to what actually happened because of the transfer window and the situation that developed with Emi [Martinez].

‘We didn’t have much time to do what we really wanted to do and we decided to assess the situation in this window which is what we are trying to do and we will make a decision on how we want to move forward in those three positions.’

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