Barcelona join chase for Nigeria born Chukwuemeka

Barcelona have ‘joined Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund in pursuit of Nigeria born England junior international

Carney Chukwuemeka’.

Aston Villa are said to be willing to sell the 18-year-old midfielder for £20million after talks over a new contract broke down due to his frustration at a lack of game time.

He was not picked for Villa’s recent pre-season tour of Australia, suggesting he is not part of Steven Gerrard’s plans for next season.

Gerrard said this week: ‘Carney’s yet to sign a contract offer that’s been in place for some time now, so I’ve decided that the best thing for him would be to continue his training programme back at Bodymoor.’

Chukwuemeka has showed excellent promise in recent months, playing 13 times for Villa last season and winning the U19 Euros with England. He scored in the final and was named in the team of the tournament.

According to reports in Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona have expressed interest in signing the young midfielder, although he is ‘not a priority’ yet as the Catalan giants still hope to bring in Robert Lewandowski.

The Sun also reported that Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal have enquired about Chukwuemeka, and that Villa value him at ‘£20m’.

It is something of a surprise to hear Barcelona are pursuing another signing given the financial struggles the club is facing.

The Athletic claims they have debts of ‘£1b’ and that some players are owed large sums of wages due to controls placed on the club’s spending.

Despite this they have already bought in Franck Kessie, Raphinha and Andreas Christensen and are in talks with Lewandowski and Cesar Azpilicueta.

Born in Austria to Nigerian parents, he represents England at youth international level, most recently captaining the England U19 side.

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