Home » La Liga, Latest » Arsenal confirm controversial signing of Barcelona youth star

Arsenal has signed another player from Barcelona’s lauded youth academy.

Barcelona have confirmed that 16-year-old Jon Miquel Toral Harper is set to follow in the footsteps of Cesc Fabregas and join the Gunners from next season.

The north London club have paid around £300,000 for Toral, who was free to sign with any professional team because Spanish clubs cannot sign players on contracts until they are 17.

Toral came through the Spanish champion’s La Masia ranks like Fabregas and fellow prospect Fran Merida, who were both signed by Arsenal as teenagers.

Arsenal also signed 18-year-old Ignasi Miquel from Barcelona in 2008, with the defender making his debut in Sunday’s 1-1 FA Cup draw at Leyton Orient.

The lanky Toral, who played in midfield in Barcelona’s youth team, has an English mother.

In a further twist, Toral’s agent who engineered the move is Pere Guardiola – the brother of Barcelona coach Pep.

Arsene Wenger was desperate to sign Fabregas but was prohibited from watching him play for Barcelona’s youth team.

But the Frenchman got around the problem by heading to Finland for the Under 17 World Cup in 2003, where Fabregas won the Golden Boot and player of the tournament gongs.

Arsenal signed their future captain in September that year, paying just £700,000 in compensation after Barcelona complained to FIFA.

Source: DailyMail

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