Liverpool ahead of Arsenal in ‘new Pirlo’ race

Liverpool are ahead of bitter rivals Arsenal in the battle for Barcelona starlet Sergi Samper, according to reports from The Metro.

The 20-year-old creative starlet has made four appearances for the Catalan giants this term, but has spent the majority of his young career playing for their ‘B’ team.

His early performances have led to comparisons with Italian great Andrea Pirlo, with Samper an adept deep-lying playmaker with a good range of passing.

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Arsenal are believed to be long-term admirers of the player, but now reports suggest that Liverpool are ahead of their London counterparts in the race for his services.

Although the Reds are unlikely to be able to offer Champions League football next term, Samper may be tempted by the greater chance of first-team action at Anfield, with the Barcelona set-up far from short on quality and depth in every position.

The silky passer has represented Spain at U-21 level and has also played for the Catalonia team.