Sanabria is considered the jewel of the Barcelona academy.[Reuters]

Barcelona prodigy Tony Sanabria has decided to sign for Roma despite Arsenal making him an offer, reports in Spain claim.

The 17-year-old striker is considered the jewel of the Barcelona academy but he recently told the Catalans that he had decided to move abroad after rejecting an offer of a contract extension.

In response to his attitude, Barcelona B boss Eusebio Sacristan exiled Sanabria from his team, dropping him from the squad last weekend against Alcorcon despite the Paraguayan's impressive return of three goals in his last six appearances.

As IBTimes UK exclusively revealed last month, Sanabria will join Roma this month despite Arsenal's efforts to convince him to move to London.

Spanish newspaper Sport report that the deal is done and the striker said his goodbyes to his Barcelona teammates during a training session that took place on Wednesday morning.

Sanabria decided to move to Roma last month but negotiations stalled because the Italian side were after a cut-price deal, due to the forward's contract expiring in 2015. Reports in Spain claim that they have finally agreed to pay his £2.5 release clause and in the next days Sanabria will move to Italy.

Barcelona tried desperately to keep hold of Sanabria and head coach Gerardo Martino even tried to reason with the youngster and convince him to stay. However the 17-year-old feels that he is ready to play first-team football and believes he is going to have more chances with Roma than at the Catalonian giants.

Manager Arsene Wenger was keen to sign Sanabria as Arsenal currently have only two strikers to call upon in Olivier Giroud and Nicklas Bendtner with Theo Walcott out for the rest of the season through injury.