Chelsea and Arsenal are set to go head to head to sign Barcelona youth team striker Abel Ruiz, according to the Daily Mirror.

The highly rated 16-year-old has not signed a professional contract with the Catalan giants and there are fears in Spain that he may follow the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Hector Bellerin and move to England at a young age.

Arsenal scout Francis Cagigao has been in regular attendance at youth team games in Spain and Ruiz has caught the eye of the North London club, however, they face competition from Chelsea despite their success in tempting players in the past.

Both Chelsea and Arsenal have spoken to the player and his family while the chiefs at Barcelona are keen to sit down with the player and offer a contract to extend his stay at La Masia.

Barcelona club president Josep Maria Bartomeu is taking an increased interest in any potential deal as he fears the increase in television revenues in England could lead to an exodus of young players leaving La Liga for the Premier League due to the financial benefits.

Given Barcelona’s proud history of academy graduates in the first team, the club has made it a priority to prevent Ruiz following the same path as Fabregas and Bellerin before him.

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