Arsenal Transfer News: Barcelona Starlet Abel Ruiz Wanted Amid Chelsea Rumours

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Arsenal Transfer News: Barcelona Starlet Abel Ruiz Wanted Amid Chelsea Rumours
Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

Arsenal will reportedly rival Chelsea for the signature of Barcelona youngster Abel Ruiz.

According to Chris Hatherall of the Mirror, the Premier League rivals are hoping to snap up the 16-year-old as he is yet to put pen to paper on a professional deal at the Camp Nou. 

Per the report, Barca are eager to secure the striker, but he has been scouted regularly by the Gunners' Francis Cagigao and both English clubs have made contact with Ruiz's family.

The former Valencia youth player took to Instagram to celebrate Barcelona Juvenil B's recent 3-1 win over Mollet:

FcBarcelona 3-1 Mollet (+1) Gran victoria en casa! Seguimos sumando🔵🔴

A photo posted by ABEL RUIZ ORTEGA (@abelruizortega) on

According to Metro's Jamie Sanderson, the forward is "one of the hottest prospects" coming up through the ranks in Catalonia.

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As such, the prospect of him being poached by a side in the Premier League is a real cause for concern for club president Josep Maria Bartomeu, who is "is taking a close interest in the deal," according to Hatherall.

Indeed, per Sanderson, the Gunners would "anger" the Catalan giants should they persuade Ruiz to join them having previously recruited the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Hector Bellerin from their academy.

Given a choice between Arsenal and Chelsea, the former would seem a more likely destination for Ruiz as they have shown a greater willingness to blood their young talent, while the latter notoriously loan out vast swathes of youth players each season.

Further, the cultured style of play Arsenal encourage in their players would likely provide a much smoother transition to life not only with a new club but in a new country as well—something particularly important for one so young.

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