Barcelona are considering sending Arsenal long-term target Sergi Samper on loan during the January transfer window after the promising midfielder had failed to secure regular starts under Luis Enrique this season.
Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo claims that some clubs are keen on getting his services permanently but the Catalan club are in favour of a loan move as it still believes he has a future at the Camp Nou.
Samper has been linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium since in the summer of 2011, when he attracted the attentions of Arsene Wenger alongside his then team-mates Jon Toral and Hector Bellerin. The French boss managed to syphon the last two to the Emirates Stadium academy but failed to convince Samper to follow in the same footsteps.
Mundo Deportivo claimed last summer that Wenger made a new approach to secure the 20-year-old midfielder as he saw him as the long-term successor of captain Mikel Arteta. The reports then claimed that Wenger was even willing to meet his €12m (£8.6m, $13m) release clause, but although Samper was "attracted" by the idea he eventually decided to stay at the Champions League winners, hoping to make the breakthrough into the Barcelona first-team.
Samper stuck in Barcelona's second team
But with Sergio Busquets, Javier Mascherano and Sergi Roberto all ahead of him the midfielder has made just three appearances for Luis Enrique's side – playing 13 games for the Barcelona second-team.
Mundo Deportivo claims that Barcelona are therefore considering to loan him during the January transfer window. The Catalan newspaper claims that Real Sociedad, Sporting Gijon, Porto, Basel and Anderlecht are among the potential candidates to secure his services as the Catalans want to send him to a team where he can secure regular time in the top flight to continue his development.
The newspaper, meanwhile, claim that some teams are more interested in his signing on a permanent basis but neither the club or Samper are currently considering that option. The report doesn't confirm whether the Gunners, who are short of options in the area due to Francis Coquelin and Mikel Arteta injuries, are one of the club interested but points out that Wenger already "made a personal" approach to the midfielder during the summer.