Youri Tielemans is one of the players Barcelona are keeping tabs on, as part of their plans to reinforce their midfield department.
What makes the Leicester City star an ideal target for Barça is that his contract at the club expires at the end of the season. The Catalans consider this an excellent market opportunity to reach a pre-contract agreement with the player in January and sign him for free in the summer.
However, according to SPORT, Barcelona may miss out on Tielemans as Arsenal are prepared to hijack the deal by offering Leicester City a figure of around £20 million (€23 million) next month.
The Gunners want to sign the midfielder permanently in January itself as part of their plans to strengthen the ranks in the midfield department. It appears Mikel Arteta is determined to add more quality to the team as they look to compete with Manchester City for the Premier League title.
This serves as a major blow for Barcelona, who are dealing with Financial Fair Play regulations and might not be in a position to spend big on any individual in this January transfer window.
The Gunners are primarily targeting a move for a new right-back next month. Although they are looking for a midfielder as well, the club are only expected to make a move in the summer, when Sergio Busquets is expected to leave Camp Nou.
But with Tielemans likely out of the equation, Barcelona may shift their attention elsewhere. Martin Zubimendi has been mooted as one of the options for the Catalans.
It appears the club are willing to splurge big on the Real Sociedad starlet, who has been identified as the ideal long-term replacement for Busquets.