Barcelona are being linked with a surprise move for Alex Song as reports claim the Catalans have identified the Arsenal midfielder as the ideal replacement for Seydou Keita.
Barca allowed Keita to leave the club for Chinese side Dalian Aerbin after four years at the club, and they are determined to sign a new defensive midfielder before the start of the new season.
It has been widely reported that Barcelona’s first choice was Athletic Bilbao and Spain midfielder Javi Martinez, but they have given up their pursuit due to Bilbao’s refusal to lower the asking price beneath the €40million buy-out clause.
It has forced the Catalans to seek out other targets, and according to Spanish newspaper, Sport, they are interested in Song and are set to make an initial €15million offer.
The report adds that Song’s creative streak – he produced 11 league assists last season – and his ability to operate in central defence means Barca boss Tito Vilanova views the 24-year-old as the perfect fit.
However, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will be reluctant to lose Song, particularly after Barcelona successfully lured former Gunners captain Cesc Fabregas back to Spain last year.
In an attempt to ward off interest, Wenger is expected to offer the Cameroon international a new and improved contract to guarantee Song’s commitment to the club.