Wenger's Pursuit of South American Forward Takes Fresh Twist - Report

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By Vanessa Keller | December 16, 2013 11:07 PM EST

Arsene Wenger is reconsidering whether a deal for Barcelona youngster Antonio Sanabria will be viable after the Arsenal manager found out he has a £3.6m release clause written into his current contract with the club.

The Gunners were believed to be hoping to sign Sanabria next summer for a compensation fee mounting to around £300,000.

But the Mirror now claims the club are set to pay more than 10 times that amount after they found out the 17-year-old has a release clause in his current deal.

Sanabria's agent Raul Verdu claimed over the weekend that a deal for the youngster to make the move to Arsenal is very close, telling reporters: "Our contacts with Arsenal are advanced and I expect a solution in the next week."

The teenager has reportedly been compared to Lionel Messi for his skills and pace, but has so far been unable to break into Barcelona's senior line-up.

The Paraguay international appears to prefer a move to Arsenal than working his way into the fold at Camp Nou, but his release clause may lead to Wenger considering his targets in the lead-up to January.

The Frenchman is believed to be in the market for a striker to provide support for Olivier Giroud but with the winter market being traditionally over-priced he may find it a better option to rely on Nicklas Bendtner to produce.

Bendtner has publicly pushed for a move away from the Gunners in the past, but has recently been in better form for the side when used as a back-up for Giroud.

While Wenger is reportedly likely to have access to a large sum of money in the lead-up to the new year, the manager is known for refusing to pay over the odds for players who he doesn't believe will seriously improve the side.

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