Arsenal go all out for bizarre Barcelona raid, as Arteta eyes surprise reunion in position that doesn’t need addressing

Barcelona quartet Gerard Pique, Ferran Torres, Pedri and Eric Garcia Credit: Alamy
Barcelona quartet Gerard Pique, Ferran Torres, Pedri and Eric Garcia Credit: Alamy

Arsenal will consider both the loan and permanent routes if it means they can sign a Barcelona star this month who Mikel Arteta knows well from his time at Man City, per a report.

The Gunners’ primary focus in the winter window is known to be the addition of more firepower. Gabriel Jesus’ knee injury has deprived Arteta of his finest centre-forward. A loan move for Joao Felix was on the club’s radar, though it’s London rivals Chelsea who’ve struck an agreement.

That’s put added pressure on Arsenal chief Edu to land Shakhtar Donetsk’s Mykhaylo Mudryk. The 22-year-old winger is known to favour Arsenal over Chelsea and according to reports out of Ukraine, the end is in sight.

But in the event a Mudryk move falls through, a shock Real Madrid swoop has been put in place. In any case, today’s update surprisingly revolves around the position of centre-half.

Arteta has struck gold with his William Saliba-Gabriel Magalhaes partnership. Beyond that pair, Arsenal can also call upon Ben White, Rob Holding and Takehiro Tomiyasu, who played primarily as a centre-half at former club Bologna.

Centre-back isn’t a position that appears to need addressing on paper, though according to Spanish outlet Sport, Arteta sees things differently.

Arsenal gunning for Eric Garcia

21-year-old Eric Garcia is termed ‘in Arsenal’s crosshairs’, with Arteta ‘interested’ in bringing the player he coached at Man City back to England.

Garcia left City for Barcelona as a free agent in the summer of 2021. It was viewed as something of a coup for Barca at the time, though he’s tumbled down the pecking order of late.

Indeed, the 19-times capped Spain international has been an unused substitute in seven of Barcelona’s last 11 LaLiga matches.

Manager Xavi isn’t keen on losing a valuable member of his squad. However, Barca’s finances will dictate the club’s decisions this month and it’s claimed Arsenal are open to both a loan or permanent move.

Clearly, the Gunners like what they see and are seemingly determined to land Garcia in any way they can.

Garcia is understood to be miffed at his lack of game-time of late, though it’s hard to see that changing if landing in London.

White and Tomiyasu have predominantly played at right-back this season, but even if Garcia jumps Holding in the order, he’d still be behind Saliba and Gabriel.

Centre-half doesn’t appear to be a position in urgent need of attention, but perhaps Arteta, Edu and co. are looking more long-term.

A follow-up from Mundo Deportivo poured cold water on Garcia’s desire to leave Spain.

They claimed Garcia is currently not contemplating joining the Gunners, meaning Arsenal have a sizeable task on their hands if they’re to get this one airborne.

READ MORE: Arsenal launch shock move for Real Madrid forward as ultimate roll of the dice if Mudryk deal falls through 

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