Arsenal: Arteta gives honest assessment of progress
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Arsenal are one of a number of clubs who have been linked with left-back Emerson Royal, who has impressed at Real Betis this season. However, the 22-year-old is reportedly preparing to join up with Barcelona this summer
Emerson left Atletico Mineiro in January 2019 in a deal which saw both Barcelona and Betis pay half of his transfer fee.
The agreement has seen the left-back spend the last two-and-a-half seasons at Betis, with Barcelona having the option to pay them the other half of the initial transfer fee to bring him to the Nou Camp this summer.
According to Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona informed the player last month that they wanted him to join them for pre-season.
As a result, the report claims that Emerson’s mother and bother visited Barcelona last week to look at houses for him.
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It is noted that while Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan and Villarreal are all interested in Emerson’s services, the player ‘only wants to think about Barca’.
Speaking back in March, Emerson insisted he was focused on finishing the season strong with Betis, who are hoping to secure qualification for Europa League.
“I see what comes out in the press, but right now I am one hundred percent concentrated here,” he told Diario De Sevilla.
“I don’t think about Barcelona or anyone else, only Betis.
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“We have ten important games and we want to get the maximum of them out if possible.
“When the season is over, then I will start to think about my future.
“Europe will be a huge boost of course. For me and for all the players that are here.
“We deserve to put Betis where it needs to be because it is a spectacular club and it has to always be fighting for important things.”
With Emerson looking set to link up with Barcelona next season, Arsenal will be forced to turn their attention elsewhere as they continue to search for a new left-back.
Kieran Tierney is currently the only recognised left-back in the squad, with Granit Xhaka, Cedric Soares and Bukayo Saka all filling in at times this season.
Ryan Bertrand has been heavily linked with a move to the Emirates and he will be available on a free transfer this summer.
The 31-year-old’s contract with Southampton is coming to an end and it has been announced that he will be leaving the club after seven years.
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