Barcelona midfielder Sergi Samper has agreed a loan move to UD Las Palmas after the recent arrival of Paulinho left him without a place in Ernesto Valverde's plans.

Samper, 22, used to be considered as one of the next big things to emerge from the prolific La Masia academy, having worked his way up through the youth ranks of the club since the age of six.

The talented midfielder was tempted to move to Arsenal in 2011 when Arsene Wenger convinced both Jon Toral and Hector Bellerin to make the move from the Barcelona academy to the Emirates Stadium.

Samper decided instead to remain at the Nou Camp and was rewarded by Luis Enrique with his first team debut in a Champions League encounter with Apoel during the 2014-15 campaign.

Last summer Barcelona handed him a new deal before sending him on loan to Granada in order to earn some experience in the top flight before having the chance to establish himself in the Catalan first-team.

Ernesto Valverde looked ready to give him a chance to serve as Sergio Busquets' back-up this season after the player was included in the pre-season tour of the United States.

However, last week the Barcelona boss said that he has asked the academy graduate to find a new club after the Catalans bolstered the position with the arrival of Paulinho from Guangzhou Evergrandein a €40m (£36.9m, $47.2m) deal.

"I talked with Samper three or four days ago," the Barcelona boss said in a press conference ahead of the Spanish Super Cup second leg against Real Madrid on Wednesday (16 August). "He has returned from a complicated loan spell [at Granada] where he didn't play as much as both him and the club wanted. Here he is going to have less minutes and I spoke with him [over a new loan move] with the idea that he could keep progressing and be an important player in the future."

Betis, Alaves and Girona have all been since linked with his services but earlier this week it emerged that Las Palmas were set to win the race after having identified Samper as the perfect replacement for new Swansea signing Roque Mesa.

"FC Barcelona and UD Las Palmas have reached an agreement for the loan of Sergi Samper to the latter for the 2017/18 season," the La Liga giants confirmed through an official statement.

"The Canary Islanders finished 14th in La Liga last season to secure a third consecutive term of top flight football. New manager Manolo Márquez watched his team lose 1-0 at Valencia in their opening league fixture."

Samper is the first Barcelona player to leave the club on loan during the current summer transfer window but Valverde is expected to step up the clear-out in the coming days as he still has 26 first-team players in his ranks.

Neymar and Cristian Tello have also completed permanent transfers to Paris Saint-Germain and Real Betis respectively in deals worth €222m and €4m - while Jeremy Mathieu and Jordi Masip were released earlier in the summer after the termination of their contracts.

Meanwhile, Valverde has signed Nelson Semedo, Gerard Deulofeu, Marlon Santos and Paulinho – but the club are still working to add two more players before the end of the transfer window in the form of Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho and Borussia Dortmund winger Ousmane Dembele.

Sergi Samper
Sergi Samper impressed during the pre-season win over Juventus. Getty