Arsenal target Neto will NOT be allowed to leave Barcelona this month, confirms Ronald Koeman… after his request to leave the Nou Camp was rejected with manager insisting goalkeeper is ‘important for us’
- Arsenal’s pursuit of second-choice Barcelona stopper Neto already looks over
- Ronald Koeman confirmed the 31-year-old will not be able to leave this month
- The Nou Camp boss insisted out of favour Neto remains ‘important’ for his plans
- Mikel Arteta admitted recently he is keen to provide competition for Bernd Leno
Barcelona goalkeeper Neto will not be able to leave the club this month despite interest from Arsenal, Ronald Koeman has insisted.
The Emirates outfit are hoping to provide competition for first-choice Bernd Leno after Alex Runarsson’s struggles following his arrival from Dijon – and are believed to have made Neto a potential target.
But Koeman appears to have brought an end to the speculation already after stressing the out-of-favour stopper remains in his plans.
Goalkeeper Neto will not be able to leave Barcelona this month, Ronald Koeman has confirmed
Arsenal were reportedly also weighing up a move for Neto last summer, but Barcelona’s refusal to entertain a loan offer swiftly ended negotiations.
And the LaLiga giants have adopted a similar stance in this window too, despite Neto’s agent requesting the player be allowed to move on.
‘If we talk about players, we talk about youngsters,’ said Koeman.
Koeman has insisted his second-choice stopper remains ‘important’ for his plans this season
‘I’ve said several times for some players it could be good for them to have more minutes to improve as players.
‘Neto is a different case, it’s true his agent asked the club to move on and we said no because he’s important for us and we want to have all positions covered.’
Neto joined Barcelona in the summer of 2019 from Valencia for a £23million fee but has since struggled to displace Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
This season has followed a similar pattern for the 31-year-old – who has made just nine appearances and remains firmly behind Koeman’s No 1 keeper in the rankings.
Alex Runarsson’s poor displays have triggered Mikel Arteta to strengthen between the sticks
Arsenal may now be forced to turn their attention elsewhere after Mikel Arteta admitted adding competition for Leno was under consideration.
He said: ‘There is nothing there yet. We are assessing the situation with the three positions on the goalkeeping area and we will find a different solution, probably in this window.
‘The discussion we had in the summer within the club are a little bit different to what actually happened because of the transfer window and the situation that developed with Emi [Martinez].
‘We didn’t have much time to do what we really wanted to do and we decided to assess the situation in this window which is what we are trying to do and we will make a decision on how we want to move forward in those three positions.’
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