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Premier League giants handed blow in chase for Barca star

| 22.10.2014

 Arsenal and Chelsea have reportedly suffered a blow in the race to prise Barcelona’s highly-rated forward Munir El Haddadi away from the Nou Camp.

The 19-year-old is believed to have a release clause as low as £9.4m in his current contract leaving some the Premier League’s top clubs licking their lips at the prospect of poaching him from Barca.

But after plenty of reassurances from Luis Enrique about his involvement with the first-team squad and his role going forward, the young Spanish star is ready to commit his long-term future to the Catalan giants.

Enrique has already shown plenty of faith in El Haddadi by selecting him in seven of Barcelona’s eight La Liga matches so far this season, as well as playing the Spaniard in all three of his side’s Champions League encounters.

He also made his international bow this season after being selected for Spain’s 5-1 European Championship qualifier win over Macedonia after an injury to Chelsea striker Diego Costa.

Both Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger are huge admirers of the El Haddadi’s talents and were prepared to go head-to-head once again but this time in the transfer market.

The Blues and the Gunners were ready to put together considerable financial packages for the Barca forward, who can play as a centre forward but his pace also allows him to play out on either flank.

But it appears the Spanish international is likely to ignore any lure of playing in the Premier League to stay with Barcelona, who are 5/1 to win the Champions League, after the Catalan giants’ efforts to integrate him into the first-team squad.

With El Haddadi now destined to stay at the Nou Camp for the considerable future, the former Atlético Madrid youth star will now try and emulate his idol Lionel Messi, who scored his 69th Champions League goal last night, in Catalonia.

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Oliver Yew