Arsenal are very close to agreeing a deal to sign Denis Suarez from Barcelona, according to Sky Sports.
Suarez will have some experience of living and playing in England as his first professional contract was with Manchester City back in 2011. However, he only appeared twice for the current Premier League title holders, once in the FA Cup and the League Cup each, before moving to Barcelona in 2013. There, he initially played for their “B” side and made 36 appearances and scored seven goals. In the deal which saw Ivan Rakitić join the Catalan giants in 2014, Suarez was sent on a two-year loan to Sevilla, where he worked with current Arsenal boss Unai Emery and won the Europa League with him.
However, the loan was cut short after the first season and he was sold to Villarreal in the last few days of the 2015 summer transfer window. In a sudden change of heart, Barcelona exercised the buy-back clause they had inserted into the deal in 2016 and brought him back to Camp Nou for €3.5 million (just over £3 million).
But his predicament in Catalonia wasn’t any different than before, or indeed before that at Manchester City. He has been unable to earn a regular place in the starting XI, and throughout the autumn of 2018, various outlets were tipping him for departure from Barcelona.
In the middle of December, the Independent reported that the 25-year-old’s representatives had been told to look for a new employer for him, and they had offered his services to Arsenal for as little as £14 million. At this point, Sky Sports quote their Italian sources in claiming there has been some development on the matter. They say a deal is close, and both Emery and Suarez are keen on working together again.
Speaking after the 3-0 FA Cup win over Blackpool on Sunday, the manager said a winger who could play on either flank would perhaps help the team, and asked whether Denis Suarez was such a player, Emery replied that he did play both of those roles during their days together at Sevilla.
Being a versatile player that usually excels in central midfield too, it seems like this deal would get the replacement for the departing Aaron Ramsey sorted.