Arsenal are reportedly close to capturing Barcelona midfielder Denis Suarez on loan for the rest of the season with manager Unai Emery credited with convincing the player to join the Gunners.
Suarez had also been linked with Premier League rivals Chelsea, although his expected arrival at the Emirates Stadium could smooth the transition as Aaron Ramsey prepares for a summer exit.
According to Goal, Suarez has been ‘convinced’ by Emery, who was in charge at Sevilla when the player enjoyed a successful loan spell there during the 2014/15 season.
The reports states that former Barcelona executive Raul Sanllehi had been leading the negotiations with his old club and that the Suarez deal is likely to have some form of obligation to buy inserted into the agreement.
“We cannot sign anyone permanently. Only loan players this January,” he said.
“I don’t know how [Suarez’s] situation is but I know the club is working for the possibility of players who can help us with this condition [on loan].”
Suarez, who inherited Xavi’s legendary number six shirt when re-signed for Barcelona in 2016, can play in central midfield or out wide. Goal claims that the Gunners intend for him to complete with Alex Iwobi and Henrikh Mkhitaryan for a place in the team.
The 25-year-old previously has experience of living and playing in England after joining the Manchester City youth ranks as a teenager. He later joined Barcelona, before the aforementioned loan at Sevilla and a permanent move to Villarreal. The player then returned to Camp Nou two-and-a-half year ago when the club exercised a buyback clause.
After overcoming an early season injury, Suarez has found chances almost impossible to come by at Barcelona in 2018/19. He has appeared just twice in La Liga, both as a substitute and both in December, while his only two starts in any competition have come in the Copa del Rey.