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Barcelona eye January move for Royal Antwerp’s highly-coveted midfielder Arthur Vermeeren

Barcelona are plotting a surprise move for Royal Antwerp’s young midfielder Arthur Vermeeren in January, claims Mundo Deportivo.

The Catalan giants have been tracking the 18-year-old for months and sent one of their scouts to watch him in January during the league game against KAA Gent.

Vermeeren was a revelation for Antwerp last season, helping them win the Belgian Pro League, Belgian Cup and Belgian Super Cup.

He was also instrumental in Mark van Bommel’s side qualifying for the Champions League this season.

The Belgian teenager’s phenomenal rise has also caught the interest of several clubs including Manchester United, Liverpool, Ajax, Brighton & Hove Albion and RB Leipzig.

It looks increasingly likely that Antwerp will be unable to keep hold of Vermeeren beyond next summer.

Amid the stiff competition, Barca are looking to sign the talented prospect in January, with Xavi wanting to add a defensive midfielder to the ranks.

The Catalan giants currently have Oriol Romeu and Frenkie de Jong as holding midfielders, and Xavi has identified Vermeeren as a top option to increase the depth.

Barca can also observe him in the close quarter during their opening game of the Champions League group stage against Antwerp next week.

However, a move in January looks highly unlikely since the Belgian giants will be unwilling to let go of him due to his importance to the side.

The Catalan giants have also shortlisted Athletic Bilbao’s Nico Williams, Dani Olmo of RB Leipzig and Manchester City superstar Bernardo Silva as potential targets for next summer.

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