Arsenal FC are set to activate the A?8.4 million release-clause in the contract of FC Barcelona midfielder Sergi Samper.

This is certainly not the first time Arsenal have been linked with the 20-year-old Spaniard. Arsene Wenger has followed his progress at Barcelona since he was a teenager.

Sergi Samper is widely considered to be the best midfield talent to have come out La Masia since Thiago Alcantara. He moved up through the youth ranks at the Catalan club and finally made his first team debut last season in the Champions League clash against APOEL FC. However the youngster is yet to make his La Liga debut and it seems unlikely he will get a regular place in the first team starting line-up anytime soon.

Barcelona B were relegated to the third tier of Spanish football last season and it will be big step down for Samper to play in the lower division. The defensive midfielder is struggling to climb up in the pecking order with Sergio Busquets, Javier Mascherano and Sergi Roberts all ahead of him.

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Earlier today Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo reported that Arsenal are lining up a A?8.4 million bid for the midfielder, which will activate the release clause in his contract. According to them Arsene Wenger has already been in touch with the Barcelona midfielder trying to convince him about a move to England.

The Gunners are in the market for a new defensive midfielder this summer. Arsenal dona t have any natural back-up for Francis Coquelin in their squad and are now set to lose Mathieu Flamini to Galatasaray. Mikel Arteta is struggling with his fitness currently, moreover the former Everton man hasna t always looked comfortable as the holding midfielder. Wenger sees Samper as the long-term replacement for Arteta, who is reaching the fag end of his career.

Barcelona and Luis Enrique are however determined to hold on to Samper, although he cana t really guarantee him a place in the starting line-up. Arsenal are hoping that the youngster will be inspired by the progress his former teammate Hector Bellerin has made since his arrival at the Emirates. The midfielder has two-years left in his current contract, but he is unlikely to warm the bench for the next couple of seasons.