According to Spanish publication Sport, Barcelona’s academy is set to be the subject of another raid, this time from the Premier League. The likes of Arsenal and Liverpool are taking a keen interest in La Masia prodigy Joel Lopez and are looking to prise him away from Barcelona in the summer.
Barcelona have lost a few great academy prospects recently, the most recent being the departure of Sergio Gomez, who opted to join Borussia Dortmund, with reports citing lack of a defined pathway into the first-team and no improvement in contractual negotiations as reasons for his departure.
Joel Lopez could now be the next one to depart Barcelona in what would be another body blow to the club. The youngster is currently a part of the Cadeta A side (Under 16s) and is yet to sign a renewal at the club. Add to that the growing interest in the player, with Liverpool and Arsenal eyeing him and there is cause for worry for Barcelona.
Joel Lopez is one of the brightest prospects in his age group, alongside Nico Gonzalez and Robert Navarro,beer777
the former being also linked with a move away from Barcelona.
Lopez though, represents a player who has spent his entire career at Barcelona, having joined the club’s Under-8s to work towards achieving his football dream.
Even though there is still time left for Barcelona to get Lopez to commit to a new deal, the club officials are not optimistic about the situation. What worsens the possibility of a renewal is the fact that Barcelona have left-backs already deployed and the position is adequately staffed at the higher age groups, with Marc Cucurella and Juan Miranda the first-choice left-backs.
Thus, Barcelona beer777
cannot really guarantee a faster progression to the higher age groups for Lopez, which could ultimately see the left-back depart, for either Arsenal or Liverpool. Arsenal have a history of nurturing young talents from Barcelona – Cesc Fabregas and Hector Bellerin to name a few – and Lopez could become the next to join the list.
But, considering the managerial uncertainty looming over Arsenal and the general state of disarray that the club is in, Liverpool could be a more lucrative option, considering the manager at Anfield, Jurgen Klopp, likes to bring through youngsters and the fact that he is currently short of options on the left side of the defence.
Wherever Joel Lopez ends up, he is likely to be on the move, a dreadful prospect for Barcelona, who seem to be losing grip on their La Masia graduates, with many preferring to join other clubs rather than grind their way into the first-team at the Nou Camp.beer777