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Arsenal transfer news: Neto not set to join Gunners as Barcelona deny move

(Image credit: PA)

Barcelona have rejected a transfer request submitted by Arsenal target Neto, according to Ronald Koeman.

The goalkeeper is keen to leave the Camp Nou in search of more regular first-team football.

Neto joined Barcelona from Valencia in 2019 but has been restricted to just 14 appearances for the club.

The 31-year-old has been linked with a move to Arsenal in recent months, and he informed Barcelona of his desire to seek pastures new.

But the La Liga giants want to keep Neto around in case of injury to their first-choice shot-stopper, Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

"It's true that his representative has asked the club for an exit and we have said no because he is an important goalkeeper for us and we want to be very well covered at each position,” Koeman said on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Barcelona’s pursuit of Manchester City centre-back Eric Garcia has been put on hold.

The club had initially been expected to sign the soon-to-be free agent in the summer.

They then considered bringing the transfer forward to January, and were busy raising funds to pay City a fee.

However, the indefinite postponement of presidential elections - originally scheduled for January 24 - has ended Barcelona’s hopes of landing Garcia this month.

A Barcelona statement read: “This Friday, January 15, the Catalan Government and FC Barcelona have held a virtual working meeting to address the holding of the elections for President and Board of Directors of the sports entity in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“In the course of the meeting, the Government has conveyed to the club that the current epidemiological situation does not make it possible to authorise the movement outside the municipality to members who do not have a polling station in their municipality on January 24, given the high mobility this would entail.

“For its part, the club has stated the impossibility of holding elections on the scheduled date due to mobility restrictions decreed by the Catalan Government in the current context of pandemic, which is why the date of the elections must be delayed.

“In this sense, the club has asked the Catalan Government to evaluate the possibility of modifying the current sports legislation in order to enable voting by post on the new date of the elections, a request that the Government has undertaken to study."

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