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Barcelona rejected Arsenal’s bid for Ferran Torres at Xavi’s request

Arsenal's last gasp attempt to sign Ferran Torres was rejected by Barcelona

El Nacional have revealed that Arsenal had a bid to sign Ferran Torres turned down by Barcelona at the behest of Xavi Hernandez in the last days of the transfer window.

After club-record signing Nicolas Pepe completed his move to Ligue 1 side OGC Nice, the Gunners were short on depth in their forward line.

Mikel Arteta wanted another winger to bolster his options, with only Emile Smith-Rowe and Fabio Vieira as the available options to Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka on the flanks.

The Gunners were linked with a move for PSV Eindhoven youngster and Manchester United target Cody Gakpo but were joined in the race by Southampton and Leeds United, who were also keen.

However, the Netherlands international opted to remain at the Eredivisie club with the World Cup in Qatar firmly behind his decision.

It has now been revealed that the Gunners had sent in a €30 million bid to sign former Manchester City winger Ferran Torres from Barca before the window closed.

Barca had paid Pep Guardiola’s side €55m just eight months ago to sign the former Valencia man, but Arsenal’s offer was attractive to Joan Laporta, who was looking to balance the books after splurging heavily this summer.

However, after presenting the bid to Xavi, the Spaniard instructed the club to turn down the offer immediately. 

Despite boasting one of the most attractive forward units in Europe with Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Ousmane Dembele, Memphis Depay and Anssumane Fati all at his beck and call, he was not ready to lose another forward with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang joining Chelsea

He claimed to consider the 22-year-old as a key part of his plans, and Arsenal did not return with a second bid. 

Despite Xavi claiming Torres is non-transferrable, the Spanish international forward has only started one of Barca’s four league games this season.

He was an unused substitute in their season opener against Rayo Vallecano. He started in the 4-1 win over Real Sociedad but settled for off-the-bench cameos against Real Valladolid and Sevilla

Laporta is said to be monitoring the situation closely. If Torres continues to be a substitute the club will consider selling in the January transfer window.

Arsenal did sign a new winger before the summer window closed, and Arteta will be hoping his thin squad does not catch up with him before January.

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