By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent
Barcelona are preparing a bid for Alex Song but are unwilling to meet Arsenal’s £15 million valuation of the midfielder.
The Spanish giants have upped their interest in the Cameroon international after being encouraged by their exploratory enquiries for the 24-year-old.
|ALEX ON SONG
| SONG'S ARSENAL RECORD
Song, who joined Arsenal, initially on loan, in 2005, is flattered by Barcelona’s interest and is keen to hear what they have to say.
Goal.com understands that a possible deal is only in the “early stages” but Barca’s desire to capture the midfielder in the current window is genuine.
Arsene Wenger is reluctant to sell the only senior defensive midfielder in his squad even though Song has developed the creative side of his game over the last two seasons.
Arsenal are in talks with Real Madrid over a season-long loan for Nuri Sahin, but the midfielder is regarded by Wenger as more of a deep-lying playmaker who can stand in for the injured Jack Wilshere rather than a protector of the defence.
Jose Mourinho said last week that Real will not stand in Sahin’s way if he wanted to leave, although he is unlikely to do so unless the Spanish club complete the signing of top summer target Luka Modric from Tottenham. Liverpool are also pursuing Sahin and have asked to be kept informed of developments.
Song has established himself as an integral member of the Arsenal team over the last two seasons but his eagerness to attack frequently opens up holes in front of the back four for opponents to exploit.
He has three years to run on his current contract and Wenger might conclude that it is the right time to cash in on him.
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