Barcelona hit bum note with Arsenal as they plot 12m move for midfielder Song
14:04 GMT, 31 July 2012
Arsenal are bracing themselves for a fresh transfer tussle after it emerged Barcelona were preparing a bid for Alex Song.
The Cameroon international was one of the Gunners star performers during an indifferent season, striking up a particularly profitable relationship with Robin van Persie.
It is the Dutchman who is at the centre of another saga following the release of a statement on his website which questioned the ambitions of the club.
There is no suggestion Song himself is angling for a move, but the midfielder's contract is up for renewal in two years and he is a strong position to negotiate favourable terms.
Sing up for the Arsenal: Alex Song is being linked with a move to Barcelona
Barcelona are keen to strengthen the defensive side of their game having let go Seydou Keita during the summer window. They also struggled with the defeat in the heart of their backline last season, often relying on midfielders Javier Mascherano and Sergio Busquets.
And now Catalan newspaper Sport say new manager Tito Vilanova will move for Song – a decision sanctioned by the players and coaching staff – to the tune of 12.5m.
The report also suggests Song and Cesc Fabregas – who left north London for the Nou Camp a year ago – maintain a strong friendship.