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Report: Arsenal Face Barcelona Challenge in Race to Sign Cristian Pavon

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistJuly 12, 2018

LA BOCA, ARGENTINA - MAY 16: Cristian Pavon of Boca Juniors greets fans after a match between Boca Juniors and Alianza Lima at Alberto J. Armando Stadium on May 16, 2018 in La Boca, Argentina. (Photo by Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images)
Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images

Barcelona have reportedly entered the race to sign Arsenal target Cristian Pavon from Boca Juniors and are prepared to offer him a lucrative contract to tempt him to the Camp Nou. 

According to Marca (h/t Ryan O'Donovan of Football.London), Arsenal will have to match Barca's offer if they are to have any chance of taking the Argentina international to the Emirates Stadium.

O'Donovan added that Boca Juniors are under no pressure to sell—Pavon's contract runs until 2022—and would likely welcome the prospect of a bidding war ensuing between Barcelona and Arsenal.

Barca's entrance to the race for the 22-year-old could be a big blow for Arsenal.

The Gunners cannot offer Pavon what the Blaugrana can, both in terms of potential silverware and financial reward.

Barca are La Liga champions and look set to make a big push to win the UEFA Champions League for a sixth time next term.

Arsenal, meanwhile, finished outside the Premier League's top four for the second season running in 2017-18 and can only offer UEFA Europa League football.

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The Gunners may, though, be able to offer Pavon more game time than he would get in Barcelona's competitive squad.

Pavon is a versatile attacker, able to play on either flank or as a centre-forward, so he would be a useful addition to Unai Emery's new-look Arsenal squad:

WhoScored.com @WhoScored

With Cristian Pavon potentially set to be handed a start against #CRO tonight, @BenMcAleer1 looks at the reasoning for his possible inclusion in Jorge Sampaoli's #ARG XI -- https://t.co/wSGYm7XFHQ https://t.co/pMukP9YMtG

His variety and creativity are likely also attractive to Barca manager Ernesto Valverde.

If he does move to either Barcelona or Arsenal, Pavon would be making a big step up. He was impressive in the Superliga Argentina last term for Boca, as he netted six goals and recorded 11 assists, earning himself a spot in Argentina's 2018 FIFA World Cup squad.

La Liga and the Premier League are of a higher standard, but Barca and Arsenal seemingly both believe he has the talent to excel in Europe.

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