Barcelona's 'EXTREME FEARS' confirmed: Arsenal's minds made up over superstar transfer

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner
  • 4 Mar 2024 07:46 GMT
  • 4 min read
Barcelona's Pedri limps off injured against Athletic Bilbao, 2023/24

Barcelona endured a nightmare evening in LaLiga as they saw Frenkie de Jong and Pedri depart their scoreless draw with Athletic Club on Sunday injured.

Xavi’s side failed to take advantage of Real Madrid’s stumble in Valencia 24 hours earlier, missing out on the chance to close the gap at the top of the table to six points.

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The longer-term damage of losing De Jong and Pedri, though, threatens to be more acute, with significant fears over both.

READ MORE: Latest Barcelona transfer rumours

It is the young Spain international, though, who is most cause for concern, though.

In January, Barcelona considered offloading the creative midfielder to Arsenal or Manchester United amid “extreme fears” over his fitness. They were even advised to sign free agent Jesse Lingard as an alternative to him.

This will be the 21-year-old’s third stint on the sidelines already this season with muscular problems, continuing a trend that has dated back three years now.

READ MORE: Roberto Martinez is the PERFECT coach for Barcelona

Pedri (left) in action against Girona
© IMAGO - Pedri (left) in action against Girona

After playing 52 games for Barcelona plus another 21 for Spain at various levels in 2020/21, his first season since moving from Las Palmas, he has managed fewer than 80 since.

Having left the field in tears against Athletic Club, there is a chance he does not add to that number before the summer.

Arsenal deal off

Arsenal now cannot contemplate a move for such an injury-prone player, with even Barcelona apparently having reservations over whether Pedri can regain the level that once made him one of the most coveted stars in the world.

The Gunners, after all, are very rigorous in their recruitment policy, which has seen manager Mikel Arteta and technical director Edu record hit after hit in this department in recent years.

They have no track record of signing players with an injury record that mimics Pedri’s – and particularly for the type of fee that Barcelona would demand for the player.

Out of contract in 2026, the 21-year-old has an Estimated Transfer Value of €62.3 million, despite his persistent injury complaints.

Manchester City and Bayern Munich have also been linked with a possible move for Pedri, but any team taking him on now would have to have full confidence in their medical team to perform a miracle and get him consistently fit.

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