Barcelona goalkeeper Neto, who could be reportedly on his way out of the club this summer, could be back on the radars of Premier League bigwigs Arsenal.
According to a report from Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo, Arsenal are poised to reignite their interest in Brazilian shot-stopper Neto, who is expected to be on his way out of Barcelona in the summer transfer window.
Neto signed for Barcelona in the summer of 2019 from fellow La Liga outfit Valencia, in a move that saw Jasper Cillessen move the other way. However, the 31-year-old, over the course of his near two-year stint at Camp Nou, has had to play second-fiddle to Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who has been the undisputed No. 1 between the sticks.
As a result, Neto, so far, has managed just 16 appearances for Barcelona across all competitions in which he has kept six clean sheets. The one-time capped Brazilian international last played a La Liga game in October last year while his most recent appearance for the Blaugrana came in the Copa del Rey Round of 16 clash against Rayo Vallecano in January earlier this year.
Even though Neto is contracted with Barcelona till the summer of 2023, the 31-year-old has been pushing for an exit since the January transfer window itself in search of regular game-time. However, at the time, his transfer was blocked by manager Ronald Koeman as he did not want to let the player leave without securing a replacement.
However, the summer transfer window will, in all likelihood, see Neto secure a much-desired exit from Camp Nou. In fact, the report claims that the Brazilian will be starting in Barcelona’s final La Liga clash of the season against Eibar this weekend in what will be a farewell appearance. And, it seems like Arsenal are set to rekindle their interest in the 31-year-old.
Arsenal had tried to sign Neto during the winter transfer window but a move never materialsed, which prompted the Gunners to go out and secure the signing of Mat Ryan on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion. While the Australian hasn’t had a lot of opportunities under Mikel Arteta, it had been claimed that he had done enough to convince the Gunners to sign him on a permanent basis at the end of the season.
But the aforementioned report is now claiming that the north Londoners could be set to revisit their interest in Neto. There have been some speculations surrounding the future of first-choice goalkeeper Bernd Leno of late, which could perhaps explain why Arsenal would be looking at both Ryan and Neto ahead of the summer transfer window.
As things stand, Neto is set to be on his way out of Barcelona, who have been linked with Sevilla’s Alfonso Pastor, to potentially operate as cover for Ter Stegen. It now remains to be seen if Arsenal do end up making a move for the 31-year-old custodian once the summer transfer window is open for business.