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Joel Lopez has confirmed that he’s leaving Barcelona amid speculation that he is set to sign for Arsenal. The 15-year-old defender has been playing for Barcelona’s Cadeta A side and had the opportunity to sign a new deal with the La Liga giants this summer. However, widespread reports suggest Lopez has rejected Barca’s contract and the youngster is set to sign schoolboy terms with the Gunners before agreeing to a professional deal when he turns 16 in March 2019. Liverpool were also strongly interested in Lopez but Arsenal’s head of football relations from Catalonia, Raul Sanllehi, convinced the teenage left-back to move to north London instead.
‘The day has come to say goodbye to what has been my home these last 7 years,’ Lopez told his followers on Instagram.
‘Thanks to Barcelona, it will be the club that I always carry in my heart for wonderful moments that I have lived with my friends, coaches, delegates, executives.
Magnificent people who have made me feel welcome from the first day. ‘It was a difficult decision but after contemplating it with my family I made the decision to go and start a new stage as a footballer with great enthusiasm. ‘Thanks to all who have been there always Visca Barca!’
Arsenal have already completed the signings of Stephan Lichtsteiner, Bernd Leno, Sokratis Papastathopoulos ahead of the 2018/19 campaign. It’s understood Sampdoria midfielder Lucas Torreira is also set to be unveiled by the Gunners this week in a £26.4million move.