• Barcelona goalkeeper Neto is being eyed by Arsenal
  • Neto has failed to impress at Camp Nou
  • Barcelona demands about $22.5 million transfer fee for Neto

Barcelona fans are still adjusting their senses following the stunner of a deal that would send Arthur Melo to Juventus for Miralem Pjanic. With things shaking up for the Spanish giants, veteran goalkeeper Norberto Neto is projected to leave Camp Nou next as Arsenal is said to be interested to sign him.

“Arsenal are in talks with Barcelona over a deal to sign their second-choice goalkeeper Neto, according to reports in Spain,” a report from Metro read, citing an earlier account from Sport.

The English club is reportedly seeking a replacement for Bernd Leno, who is expected to miss time after suffering an untimely injury during the match against Brighton on Sunday.

“The Gunners are in the market to sign cover for Bernd Leno, who could face a lengthy spell on the sidelines after suffering a serious knee injury in Arsenal’s 2-1 defeat to Brighton on Saturday.

“Mikel Arteta currently has Emiliano Martinez has a back-up option but Arsenal are reportedly arranging alternative short-term cover for Leno, who is expected to miss the remainder of the Premier League campaign.”

Although the interest is being considered, Barca is still hoping to find a middle ground with the Premier League club as the Catalans are reportedly not keen to accept the initial offer, which seeks to acquire the Brazilian for a loan deal with an option to buy.

As a counter, the Blaugrana is said to demand a transfer fee worth about $22.5 million.

According to Aaditya Sibal of Everything Barca, Barcelona has entertained the negotiation mainly because Neto has failed to impress Quique Setien. As the 30-year-old's subpar impact was underlined, Barca’s blueprint to start building around a younger core was likewise pointed out.

“The Spanish giants have plans to establish a younger squad over the next few seasons and have been heavily linked to sign a young goalkeeper such as Andre Onana and Luis Maximanio who could potentially fortify the club's defense in a more efficient manner in comparison to the 30-year-old Brazilian international,” Sibal wrote.

Neto, an ex-keeper for Valencia, signed with Barcelona for a transfer deal worth $29.25 million and $10.13 million add-ons in 2019. The said exchange, however, has not yielded dividends for Setien and the rest at Camp Nou as the Brazilian struggled to earn the club's trust, forcing him to spend most of his time on the bench.

Fiorentina Norberto Neto
Fiorentina keeper Norberto Neto could usurp Wojciech Szczesny's spot at Emirates. Reuters