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Arsenal have beaten Liverpool to secure the signature of Barcelona left back Joel Lopez, according to the Metro.
The 15-year-old Barcelona youth player’s contract expired this summer and he was offered a contract renewal by the Catalan side which he rejected as he told them he will join Arsenal instead.
Lopez was playing for Barcelona’s Cadeta A side and had been scouted by Liverpool who were also interested in signing him.
But reports have it that Raul Sanllehi who used to work for Barcelona, and is currently Arsenal’s head of football relations played a key role in luring the youngster to the club with his influence.
Joel Lopez would not be the first player to make the switch from Barcelona’s academy to Arsenal, with Cesc Fabregas and Hector Bellerin having made the same switch and going on to become first team regulars.
He will now join up with the Gunners on an initial schoolboy terms before signing a professional contract when he turns 16, next year.
Barcelona will receive only a training compensation fee from Arsenal because he was not under any contract with the Spanish side at the time of the transfer.