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Barcelona have made a habit of luring Arsenal's best talents in recent years, with Thierry Henry, Alex Hleb and Cesc Fabregas all ditching North London for the Catalan sunshine. The Daily Mail reports that Alex Song is the next man to come under the gaze of Barca as they prepare an alleged Â£12.5m bid for the Cameroon International.
Song has been one of the most improved players at Arsenal over the last few seasons, raising his game to become a lynchpin of their midfield. He has grown from his initial defensive role to become a classic box-to-box midfielder and the last thing Arsene Wenger would even contemplate is losing the 24 year old.
Barca have let go of Seydou Keita, a fringe figure at the Nou Camp, but a presence nonetheless in the defensive midfield role. Sergio Busquets is expected to continue in the deep-lying position though, thus essentially forcing new manager Tito Vilanova to search for a bit-part backup. Javier Mascherano signed a new long-term deal today but the Argentine has functioned primarily as a central defender since joining the Catalan giants and is expected to continue there.
Song still has two full years left in his deal at the Emirates, hence Arsenal will be under no pressure to negotiate a new contract. But Wenger has been criticized for letting his players get into the final year of their contracts, a decision which has put them in deep trouble with regards to Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott currently. And, the links with Barca might just force the club into sitting down with their midfield general to stitch up a new deal sooner rather than later.
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