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Arsenal’s pursuit of Denis Suarez has taken another twist, with the Barcelona winger demanding a pay rise before agreeing to sign the new contract that would trigger his loan to the Emirates. Unai Emery is restricted to only making loan signings in the January window and has made Suarez – who he worked with at Sevilla – his top target, though a deal is proving very hard to secure. Arsenal refused to commit to an obligatory purchase clause at the end of Suarez’s loan, meaning Barca will only agree to let the 25-year-old leave if he signs a new contract.
The club are unwilling to risk losing him for nothing, with his current deal expiring in 2020, but Suarez is reluctant to be tied to Barca for even longer given how limited his first-team opportunities have been. He was cut from Barca’s squad to face Sevilla in the Copa del Rey at the last minute, replaced by new signing Kevin-Prince Boateng, with Barca trying to force him to accept a move to Sevilla or Betis instead – both of whom have tabled offers of their own.
Now Spanish newspaper Sport report that Suarez has offered a possible means of breaking the deadlock, saying he will agree to sign a new deal with Barcelona if he is handed a significant pay rise. The Catalan side are considering the offer, and any increase in salary would be offset by the £1.7million loan fee Arsenal have agreed to pay, and it could finally see the Spaniard move to north London.