By Sean Fisher

18th Nov, 2022 | 2:30pm

Arsenal yet to trigger Charlie Patino contract extension despite Barcelona circling

Charlie Patino’s Arsenal contract is set to expire at the end of the season and the Gunners are yet to trigger a two-year extension on his deal.

After a lack of game time at The Emirates Patino headed out on loan to Blackpool this season, where he’s become a fan favourite.

The 19-year-old midfielder has been a silver lining for Blackpool in an otherwise miserable Championship campaign, and Patino’s ability to shine in an underperforming team has surely caught the eye of Gunners boss Mikel Arteta.

However, Football London have revealed that Arsenal are yet to trigger a two-year extension clause in his contract – and it may have something to do with Barcelona.

Italian outlet Calcio Mercato report that Barcelona are interested in the youngster, with the Calatan side “keeping an eye” on him in case things don’t work out in north London.

Priority

Arsenal should be putting a lot of effort in over January to convince Patino of their long-term goals. Arteta has the Gunners top of the table with an extremely young squad, and it’s easy to see a pathway into the side for Patino.

Arteta’s trust in youth was risky in his first few seasons as a manager, but it’s a decision that is now paying off with the likes of Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Martinelli all thriving for the Gunners this year.

His management of the youngsters has been nothing short of amazing. He’s kept them grounded, focused and improving their game each week – the results are now coming.

After rising through the youth academy of Arsenal since 2015, Patino will want nothing more than to break into the first team. While Arteta can’t promise that, there will certainly be opportunities for him to impress.

Barcelona will obviously always be an attractive destination for any player and Xavi has also shown faith in young stars such as Pedri and Ansu Fati. It’s tough competition for Arsenal to face, but it will be a real statement of intent if they fend them off and tie Patino down to a long-term deal.

In other Arsenal news, Mykhaylo Mudryk makes an admission about Arsenal fans amid transfer links