Arsenal interested in Aston Villa wonderkid Carney Chukwuemeka 'as Barcelona begin talks to sign 18-year-old

BARCELONA have reportedly entered the race to sign Aston Villa starlet Carney Chukwuemeka with Arsenal also keen on the midfielder.

The 18-year-old has been linked with a summer exit away from the Midlands with his contract at Villa Park to expire in 2023.

Chukwuemeka was linked with the likes of Manchester United, City and Liverpool last season, with Bayern Munich and Juventus also keen.

And fellow European sides Monaco, PSV Eindhoven and RB Leipzig have also been claimed to be keen on prising him away from England.

And following a breakthrough campaign which has seen him feature in 12 Premier League games, clubs are keen to test Villa's resolve of the player.

It was claimed in March how Mikel Arteta had eyed up the Young Lions ace as a possible replacement for Granit Xhaka should the Swiss star depart.

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Reports stated how the Gunners have sent scouts to watch the youngster in action numerous times this term.

And according to Sport, the North London outfit remain interested in the teenager ahead of a possible swoop.

But they could miss out on his signature with it said how Barcelona have met with the player's agent.

They state Chukwuemeka's representatives have met with Barca's director of football Mateu Alemany and sporting advisor Jordi Cruyff.

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Though the news outlet adds that despite the meeting, a transfer to the Nou Camp is not currently in the works.

But they declared should he not pen a new deal at Villa Park, the Blaugrana will be closely keeping tabs on his situation.

Speaking earlier this month, boss Steven Garrad was quizzed over Chukwuemeka's future following his substitute appearance against Liverpool.

To which he said: "He's hopefully going to be a big player for Aston Villa. We want him to stay here long-term.

"We believe it's the right place for Carney and, again, myself and the staff have shown huge trust putting an 18-year-old in.

"But we wouldn't do it if we didn't think he was ready, or have the ability not to cope."

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