Barcelona look to avoid "another Fabregas" by offering new contract to Arsenal target

FC Barcelona

Barcelona are reportedly set to offer Munir El Haddadi a new contract amid speculation that Arsenal are interested in the teenager.

Barcelona kicked off the new La Liga season in style with a 3-0 win over Elche at the Camp Nou. Lionel Messi was back on the goalscoring trail yet again, notching a brace on the opening day as he bounces back from the disappointment of losing to Germany in the World Cup final.

But the headlines were stolen by teenage forward Munir El Haddadi marked his first team debut with a goal. Played in behind the Elche defence, El Haddadi, 18, took a first time left foot shot, delicately lofting the ball past the goalkeeper in front of the Camp Nou crowd.

El Haddadi impressed as a youth with Atletico Madrid before joining Barcelona in 2011 - despite interest from Real Madrid, who reportedly sacked staff because they failed to land the youngster. Tipped for the top for some time now, El Haddadi impressed with the Barcelona B team last season, notching four goals in 11 games before new manager Luis Enrique called him up to the first team - and on his maiden appearance, he didn't let Barca down.

However, concerns have been raised in the Spanish press about El Haddadi's future in Catalunya after it was revealed that his contract has a £10m buyout clause - which had interested Arsenal, who are still dealing with the news that striker Olivier Giroud could be ruled out until the new year with a broken ankle.

The Gunners have previously snatched a number of youngsters away from Barcelona, including Jon Toral, Hector Bellerin, Fran Merida, Julen Pleguezelo and, most notably, midfielder Cesc Fabregas, who played over 300 games for the Gunners, scoring over 50 goals and racking up almost 100 assists before heading back to the Catalan giants in 2011.

Now, Barca are trying to prevent a similar situation occurring with El Haddadi by offering him a new contract, which will see his release clause soar to £28m - a fee that few teams would sanction for an 18-year-old, meaning Arsenal may have to look elsewhere for a Giroud replacement.

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