Arsenal have three players Barcelona may accept in swap deal to hijack Tottenham plans

Arteta: 'Still some things' for Arsenal to do in window

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Arsenal could be poised to nip ahead of Tottenham in the race to sign Barcelona defender Emerson Royal before Tuesday’s deadline. Spurs are believed to be in advanced talks with the Catalan giants over a move for the 22-year-old, who has featured regularly in La Liga so far this season.

However, Arsenal may be looking to hijack the transfer plans of their cross-city rivals and bring Emerson to the Emirates Stadium for themselves, according to Sky Sports.

The Gunners are said to have been targeting the Brazilian right-back this summer, with a late move potentially still on the cards.

They have already splashed a total of £132million on new players since the end of last season, meaning that a lucrative approach for Emerson is unlikely.

Despite Arsenal’s big-spending habits of late, a part-exchange deal could free up the necessary space for Emerson to join the club’s ranks while shifting the wages of one of their existing stars in the process.

Express Sport takes a look at three players that could be included if the Gunners decide to test Barcelona’s resolve with a player-plus-cash bid.

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Hector Bellerin

Bellerin has been linked with a move away from Arsenal for some time, with the 26-year-old way down the pecking order at present.

He is yet to play a single minute of competitive football this season and has previously been tipped to make a return to Barcelona.

The defender learned his trade at the club’s esteemed La Masia academy before joining Arsenal as a fresh-faced teenager back in 2011.

With Bellerin looking unlikely to feature for the Gunners on a regular basis this season, a swap deal involving the Spaniard could be a real option for Arsenal if Barcelona’s interest is genuine.

Cedric Soares

Cedric has played in two of Arsenal’s three Premier League games this season but may be another candidate for a part-exchange move to land Emerson.

He joined the Gunners in January of last year and has served as a valuable member of Mikel Arteta’s wider squad, making 31 appearances in all competitions.

However, the full-back has not exactly set the world alight and it remains to be seen whether the Arsenal boss would deem Emerson to be an upgrade.

Barcelona could be tempted by Cedric’s international pedigree, with the 29-year-old winning Euro 2016 with Portugal earlier in his career.

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Ainsley Maitland-Niles

A move to Barcelona for Maitland-Niles would be an unlikely outcome on deadline day, but there is a chance that it could be within the realms of possibility.

The versatile midfielder is more than capable of playing at right-back and could serve as an immediate replacement for Emerson at Barcelona in the event of a swap deal.

Maitland-Niles is believed to be keen on leaving Arsenal in search of additional playing time and is reportedly being targeted by Everton.

However, a quick-fire switch to Spain could be the answer for the Gunners if they are to stand any chance of beating Tottenham to Emerson’s signature.

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