Arsenal Reportedly Make Tonny Sanabria Transfer Bid, Also Eyeing Alvaro Morata

Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistNovember 29, 2013

ALMERIA, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 23: Alvaro B. Morata of Real Madrid CF scores their fifth goal during the La Liga match between UD Almeria and Real Madrid CF at Estadio de Los Juegos Mediterraneos on November 23, 2013 in Almeria, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Arsenal are ready to do battle with Roma for the signature of Barcelona B star Tonny Sanabria, according to reports.

The Gunners have launched a £2.5 million bid for the 17-year-old, per Simon Jones of the Daily Mail:

His representatives held meetings on Wednesday and Arsenal are deemed favourites to pip the Italians to his signature once they trigger the player's £2.5million buy-out clause next month.

Sanabria has scored one goal in two starts and four substitute appearances for the Liga Adelante team this campaign, as reported by

He also made an eight-minute appearance during Paraguay's 3-3 draw with Germany back in August, replacing Roque Santa Cruz in the South American side's senior setup.

He recently represented Paraguay at the Under-20 World Cup and has begun to attract the interest of Europe's superpowers with a number of fine displays.

Arsenal have previous experience when it comes to snatching away talent from Barcelona's youth ranks. Cesc Fabregas went on to captain the Premier League club during his eight-year North London tenure before returning to Catalonia in 2011.

The Gunners are also said to be tracking Real Madrid's Alvaro Morata, who is struggling for game time now that the Cristiano Ronaldo-Gareth Bale show is in effect, as highlighted in Jones' report.

Los Blancos' powerful 21-year-old has made just one start and 10 substitute appearances across La Liga and the Champions League this season, managing two goals in this time, per

Morata will be tired of sitting on the bench and should feel he can offer more to Madrid's cause.

The intelligent striker—whose movement and finishing ability would considerably aid Arsenal's limited striking options—needs plenty of first-team football if he is to sneak into Vicente del Bosque's Spanish squad for the 2014 World Cup.

Arsene Wenger only has Olivier Giroud and Nicklas Bendtner at his disposal this season. Should the former succumb to injury or hit a bad patch of form, many will brush the Gunners' title hopes aside.

Bendtner hasn't scored for his club this season and remains distracted by off-the-field mishaps, noted by BBC News.

Both Sanabria and Morata represent interesting targets for Wenger, who is clearly looking to strengthen his team's four-point lead atop the Premier League with a number of new faces in January.

Having spent a hefty £42.5 million on Mesut Ozil, investment in youth is certainly a sustainable way to take the club forward.