Transfer news: Arsenal set to sign promising Barcelona youngster Toni Sanabria in Cesc Fabregas-style swoop

The 17-year-old's agent has claimed that 'advanced talks' have taken place with the Gunners and a move could be completed as early as next week

Arsenal could be about to sign Barcelona hot prospect Toni Sanabria in a move that mirrors the transfer of Cesc Fabregas over 10 years ago after the 17-year-old’s agent admitted a move to the Gunners appears imminent.

Sanabria is one of many young and talented stars coming through the Catalan’s academy, although he appears to be ready to head to north London after holding talks with the current Premier League leaders.

The Paraguayan striker has also attracted attention from Italian side Roma, but the Gunners are said to be prepared to shell out the required £300,000 compensation to sign Sanabria in a move that would image Fabregas, Fran Merida, Hector Bellerin and Jon Toral.

Sanabria’s agent Raul Verdu confirmed: “Our contacts with Arsenal are advanced and I expect a solution in the next week.”

The Gunners will also have to gain clearance from the Football Association and the Royal Spanish Football Federation, but they are prepared to meet Barcelona officials next week to complete the move.

Fabregas moved to Arsenal on a free transfer at the age of 16, and went on to make his debut in 2003 before earning a place in Arsene Wenger’s first team. When the club’s record goalscorers and captain Thierry Henry headed to Barcelona, Wenger appointed Fabregas as captain, having already formed a close bond with the Gunners’ faithful.

Toral joined the club in 2011, and he remains among the youth ranks having progressed through the development programme while impressing along the way. However, he did spend the bulk of last season on the sidelines through injury. Defender Bellerin joined the club at the same time as Toral, but having made a number of appearances for the reserves he was shipped out on loan to Championship side Watford until January.

The Gunners thought they had picked up another gem in Fran Merida when he joined in 2005, but despite making a few impressive performances in the League Cup, he failed to push on anad earn a place in the first team. He eventually moved on in 2010 when he joined Atletico Madrid, and he now currently plays for Atletico Paranaense.

The latest Spanish import was Julio Pleguezuelo, who moved to the Emirates in the summer. The defender has been labelled as the ‘next Carlos Puyol’, although the 16-year-old is a long way off featuring regularly. However, Wenger will hope that he flourishes into his full potential as he he works his way through the ranks.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence