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Reported £31m Arsenal target allegedly has no intention of leaving current club

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Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

Norberto Neto has told Barcelona that he has no intention of walking away from the Camp Nou after just one season despite interest from Arsenal, according to Mundo Deportivo.

In a parallel universe, this Brazilian goalkeeper might be firmly established as one of the finest shot-stoppers of his generation. Instead, he appears to be suffering from ‘Steve Harper syndrome’ – always the bridesmaid but never the bride.

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Neto has made just 78 league appearance since the start of the 2015/16 season, and all but ten of those came during a two-year spell at Valencia.

Then again, Neto probably shouldn’t have expected anything else. Sharing a dressing room with Gianluigi Buffon and Marc-Andre ter Stegen at Juventus and Barca means you are always likely to spend more than your fair share of time on the sidelines.

But just because the seldom-seen £31 million man has played a single La Liga game for Barcelona since arriving last summer, do not assume that he is ready to up sticks and force a move away from Catalonia already.  

BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 14: Injured players of FC Barcelona attending to the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Valencia CF at Camp Nou on September 14, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

The Express say that the two-time Serie A champion is a target for Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal. But Neto has made it clear to the Barcelona hierarchy that he wants to stay and continue providing competition for arguably the greatest goalkeeper on planet earth right now.

Then again, the decision might actually be out of Neto’s hands.

It is no secret that cash-strapped Barca need to sell (and sell a lot) if they are to fund that much-mooted deal for Inter Milan star Lautaro Martinez. MD adds that the La Liga leaders will promote 21-year-old Inaki Pena to second choice if an acceptable offer for Neto arrives.

VALENCIA, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 25: Norberto Murara Neto of Valencia celebrates after his sides first goal during the La Liga match between Valencia CF and Real Sociedad at Mestalla Stadium on February 25, 2018 in Valencia, Spain. (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)

Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

In other news, Report: Nottingham Forest and Championship rivals want £2.7m man from Europa League outfit

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