Barcelona set to tempt another Arsenal midfielder to Spain

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Such is the nature of Barcelona and Real Madrid’s rivalry that neither of the two Spanish giants wants to be outdone by the other.

So when Los Blancos splashed the cash on a dominating Welshman from the Premier League, Barcelona’s transfer sniffer-hounds must have been immediately released to find someone of similar ilk.

Luckily for them, Aaron Ramsey has emerged as the heir to Gareth Bale’s throne and has taken first the Arsenal midfield, then European football by storm.

The Cardiff native has plundered 15 goals for club and country in 26 appearances this term and is attracting serious attention from the Nou Camp powerhouse, with a rumoured £50m bid to be launched in January.

The bid perhaps smacks of desperation as Gerardo Martino seeks some solutions to a squad that has lost two games on the spin, but is clearly keen on Ramsey’s ability, having dispatched scouts to watch Arsenal’s last four games, as well as Welsh clashes with Belgium and Macedonia.

Despite their two losses, Barcelona are still the 1/2 favourites to be crowned La Liga champions this season, while they are 3/10 to arrest their form with a win over Villarreal.

But with Arsenal riding high in the Premier League, largely on the back of Ramsey’s form, it’s unlikely that even such a ludicrously weighty offer of £50m would persuade Arsene Wenger to part with the midfielder.

Having had sour experiences with letting star players like Cesc Fabregas, also to Barca, and Robin Van Persie go, it will surely take a fee close to the £80m Real paid for Bale to prise the former Cardiff man away from north London.

Furthermore, with Arsenal four points clear at the summit of the Premier League and a 12/5 shot to still be leading come the end of the season, Ramsey will perhaps have to wait a little longer to follow in Bale’s footsteps.

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.