Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman confirms Neto transfer request amid Arsenal talks

Arsenal: Arteta sends squad message ahead of Newcastle clash

Barcelona goalkeeper Neto has submitted a transfer request after being linked with a move to Arsenal. Ronald Koeman confirmed the request ahead of his side’s Spanish Super Cup match against Athletic Bilbao.

The Gunners are believed to be in the market for a goalkeeper after Runar Alex Runarsson’s questionable performances when filling in for Bernd Leno.

Runarsson was handed a start in the Carabao Cup quarter final against Manchester City, but failed to impress as Mikel Arteta’s side crashed out of the competition with a 4-1 defeat.

The youngster has been the back-up to Leno since Emiliano Martínez departed the Emirates for Aston Villa last summer in search of first team opportunities.

But with lingering concerns over Runarsson’s ability to step up if Leno is injured or suffers a dip in form, Arsenal are searching for a new number two keeper.

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That has led to the Gunners being linked with a move for Brazilian keeper Neto, who has seen his opportunities limited by the form of Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

The 31-year-old has made just 14 appearances for Barca since joining the Catalan side from Valencia in 2019, although he has been handed more opportunities under Koeman.

But that appears to not be enough to satisfy Neto’s desire for minutes, with Arsenal heavily linked with a move for the keeper.

And Koeman has now revealed that Neto’s agent Kia Joorabchian has submitted a transfer request on his client’s behalf, although the club have turned it down.

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“If we talk about players, we talk about youngsters,” said the Dutchman.

“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 has kept four clean sheets in his nine matches so far this campaign, conceding seven goals.

The La Liga giants have frequently insisted they will not allow Neto to leave on loan.

But reports have suggested that they might be willing to accept a straight sale for around €21m.

The reason behind Neto’s decision to hand in a transfer request could also present a potential barrier to a move to Arsenal.

With Leno in fine form and firmly in place as Arteta’s first-choice keeper, as well as Arsenal being knocked out of the Carabao Cup, opportunities look like they will also be limited at the Emirates for Neto.

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