OFFICIAL: Barcelona sign Arsenal midfielder

Barcelona have completed the signing of England Under 19 international Marcus McGuane to a two-and-a-half year deal from Arsenal with an option to extend it further for two more years. The youngster will join the La Liga giant’s second team – Barcelona B.

The 18-year-old – a product of the Arsenal academy had been with the Londoners since first featuring for their under-six team. In the coming years, he had established himself as one of the most promising names in the Gunners’ youth set up.

McGuane was handed his a first-team opportunity earlier this season in a Europa League clash against BATE Borisov in September. He again took the field for Arsenal a few days later in 1-0 victory over Red Star Belgrade in the same competition.

Whilst many expected the young midfielder to feature more in Wenger’s plan in the near future, the teenager has instead decided to accept Barcelona’s offer and move to Spain.

The Catalans have not divulged the details of the transfer, McGuane will have a €25m (£21.9m, $31m) release clause inserted in his new contract at the Nou Camp.

'FC Barcelona and Arsenal have come to an agreement by which the midfielder Marcus McGuane will be transferred to Barça B,' the Spanish club confirmed through an official statement on Tuesday [30 January].

'McGuane's deal will keep him at Barça for three seasons, plus two option years. The buyout clause has been set at €25m.'

It has always been Arsenal poaching away youngsters from the Barcelona academy with the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Hector Bellerin and Jon Toral moving to North London to further their career.

Barcelona seems to be responding to a number of their young stars being poached away by other clubs. Sergi Gomez is set to join Borussia Dortmund after the German met his release clause of €3m. Earlier this season, Jordi Mboula and Eric García left La Masia in similar circumstances after AS Monaco and Manchester City respectively triggered their buy-out clauses.

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