Arsenal face surprise transfer dilemma after latest revelation

Mikel Arteta, Arsenal

Arsenal have been placed on red alert following reports that Barcelona will not offer Sergi Roberto a new contract when his current deal expires this summer.

The 31-year-old became Barca’s club captain upon Sergio Busquets’ departure for Inter Miami last year, but he has remained a peripheral figure this campaign despite the club’s struggles.

Barcelona are fourth in La Liga and Xavi has announced that he will be leaving his post as head coach at the end of the 2023-24 season after a difficult run of results.

Spanish outlet AS have now reported that Roberto will not be offered a new deal.

Xavi has reportedly attempted to convince the Barcelona board to reward the Spaniard with fresh terms over the past few months, but his requests have fallen on deaf ears.

As a result, Roberto is set to follow Xavi out the Camp Nou door, with his time at the club set to come to an end after 18 years.

Barcelona’s decision has provided Arsenal with a transfer dilemma as the Gunners have been linked with a move for Roberto in recent weeks, according to Spanish media (via The Mirror).

Should Arsenal sign Sergi Roberto?

Mikel Arteta’s side have struggled with injury issues so far this season, like most teams, with Jurrien Timber’s absence sorely felt in defence.

As a result, Cedric Soares is currently Benjamin White’s back-up at right-back, despite the fact he only has six months left on his contract and is wanted in Turkey.

Roberto would be a notable upgrade on Cedric, while his versatility means he would be able to provide cover in midfield too, amid Thomas Partey’s uncertain future and injury issues.

In that regard, Roberto makes sense as a transfer target. He would represent a cheap January signing if Arsenal decide to pursue a late move, while he is set to be available on a free transfer this summer.

On the other hand, Roberto has become fairly injury prone in recent years, and has struggled to break into a stuttering Barcelona team. As a back-up option, the Spaniard would likely be a fine choice, but he isn’t a player that will take Arsenal to the next level.

Data analytics experts SciSports believe just as much. Their data suggests that Roberto would become a ‘rotation player’ at Arsenal if he joins the Gunners, while a move to Arteta’s side only ranks as his 151st best transfer, according to SciSports’ Career Advice tool.

Roberto has previously been tipped to join Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba and Luis Suarez at Inter Miami and an MLS move may represent a better career choice as things stand.

But, if Arsenal are seriously interested in signing the Barcelona legend, then it wouldn’t be the worst idea to bolster their squad with some much-needed experience.