Arsenal have faced a major setback in their pursuit of Neto from FC Barcelona, with the club pulling the plug on any potential loan move.
According to an exclusive report from Mundo Deportivo, FC Barcelona have ruled out any potential loan move for goalkeeper Neto. The Brazilian is apparently keen on leaving Camp Nou in search of more first-team football, with Arsenal among clubs interested in his services this season.
Neto has even asked Barcelona for a green light to leave the club on loan. However, the Blaugrana are unwilling to offload him for a cut-price, knowing that they could come up with financial difficulties after initially signing the goalkeeper for a hefty fee. As a result, Ronald Koeman’s side is only looking for a permanent transfer – something Arsenal won’t likely be able to afford.
A product of the Atletico Mineiro youth academy, Neto initially joined Barcelona back in 2019 from Valencia, with Jasper Cillessen moving the other way around. He was brought in as the primary alternative for Marc-Andre ter Stegen, especially at a time when the German was facing an uncertain future at Camp Nou.
But after featuring in a total of 14 competitive matches in one-and-a-half year, the former Juventus star is now unhappy at Barca. Arsenal, on the other hand, were looking to take full advantage of Neto’s situation to land a short-term loan deal, as they look for better competition for their own German goalkeeper in Bernd Leno.
The former Bayer Leverkusen star is the undisputed number one choice for the Gunners. It appears, though, that Mikel Arteta has doubts over the credibility of his number two in Runar Alex Runarsson. The Iceland international was brought in from Dijon in the summer but has produced a couple of underwhelming performances between the sticks, thus failing to fill the shoes of Emiliano Martinez.
Arsenal, as a result, were eying a move for Neto. The 31-year-old has a lot of experience at the highest level of football – something that could have been useful as the north London giants look to perform well in the FA Cup and in the Europa League during the second half of the campaign.
Unfortunately, it appears any potential move has now been ruled out as the club surely cannot afford to sign the Brazilian permanently, despite the imminent departure of Mesut Ozil this January.