Sunday Mirror



WEST HAM and Brighton are battling to sign Barcelona wonderkid Monchu on loan, as he enters the final year of his contract at the Nou Camp.

Central midfielder Monchu, 20, is the captain of Barcelona B, who play in the Third Division in Spain, and has even drawn comparison­s to club legend Xavi because of his leadership qualities and sublime technique.

He scored eight goals and provided three assists in 28 matches as Barca B narrowly missed out on promotion.

Catalan giants Barcelona want the youngster to sign a new fouryear contract but are willing to allow him to leave on loan, given certain conditions.

Monchu’s wages must be paid in full for a year-long loan move, with an agreed preferenti­al fee of £36million to buy him permanentl­y in 2021 – but the deal would have to include a two-year buy-back clause, in case

Barcelona decide they wish to re-sign him.

Juventus have had an offer of £18m plus £8m in extras rejected. Valencia, Real Sociedad and Real Betis are also interested.

But West Ham and Brighton remain strong contenders and hope that the lure of Premier League football will tempt the youngster in their direction.

 ??  ?? BARCA PARCEL Monchu’s a prize asset
BARCA PARCEL Monchu’s a prize asset

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