Arsenal to meet release clause of Barca’s next-big-thing in Jan

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No sooner have Arsenal finally sealed a deal for the central striker they’ve been craving for two seasons are the club lining up a deal to bring in yet another one.

It’s reported that the Gunners have got the temptingly low release clause written into Barcelona youngster Munir El Haddadi’s contract in their sights, with the club ready to pay the £9.4m it’d take to lure the player away in January.

A highly-rated prospect at the Spanish club, El Haddadi has broken into the first team at the Nou Camp for the first time this season, making three appearances so far.

Capable of playing through the middle, a la Danny Welbeck and Olivier Giroud, or just behind either of those two as a number 10, El Haddadi capped his debut for the Catalan club with a goal in the 3-0 win over Elche this season.

The Gunners, who 4/9 fancies to finish in the top four with Ladbrokes this term, have never been shy at procuring young talent during transfer windows and look set to return to those ways this winter after a couple of big-money moves.

Under £10m is seen as superb value for a player that made his bow with the Spanish national team during the recent international break, but Barcelona are keen to ensure they hold on to their vaunted young asset.

Should the La Liga giants successfully negotiate a new contract for El Haddadi, that release clause will be driven up exponentially as Barcelona seek to dissuade any vultures from nabbing the player from under their noses.

With a working relationship already well set between the two clubs, with the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Alex Song moving between the two in recent times, it could be that a deal is made anyway, however.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.