Barcelona are looking at a surprise move to sign Arsenal defender Gabriel – and could offer one of three players in return. One of those players, Riqui Puig, could be the next Andres Iniesta, according to Cesc Fabregas.
Gabriel, 24, has been a regular for Arsenal ever since joining the club from Lille. On the whole, he has been an excellent signing for the Gunners – forming a formidable partnership with Ben White in the middle of defence.
A couple of mistakes in recent games has frustrated fans, but he has been superb for the majority of his Arsenal tenure – and SPORT claim Barcelona are keen. It is said Barcelona are willing to striker a player-plus-cash deal.
Of course, Barca are strapped for cash, so signing Gabriel might need the help of a fringe player to bring the value down. Memphis Depay and Neto have also been named as potential makeweights – as has midfielder Puig.
The young midfielder has been a fringe player ever since making his Barca debut. But he is a player with huge potential – a player that Fabregas once said could “cost a fortune” and be as good as “Iniesta”.
“Riqui can become like Iniesta. I know comparing him with Andres are big words but such a player could cost a fortune in today’s market. I’m sure Riqui can succeed,” Fabregas told RAC1 in 2020, as per Tribuna.
While Puig is a player that boasted huge potential a couple of seasons ago, he is yet to turn that into proven quality. He does need a move to be given the platform to do so, but is that really Arsenal?
Another doubt surrounding a potential deal is whether the Gunners should let Gabriel go – a player that was even being linked with the captaincy at one point. He is important to the Gunners, even if his form has dipped.
The Gunners should only consider an offer if Puig’s inclusion only deteriorates the cash-only fee by £10-£15m – and that is because, Puig will enter the final year of his contract. Squawka say his exit clause is £83m.