- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 23, 2011

BARCELONA, SPAIN (AP) - Arsenal has obtained another player from Barcelona’s lauded youth academy.

Barcelona confirmed Wednesday that 16-year-old midfielder Jon Toral is set to follow Cesc Fabregas and join the Gunners next season.

Spanish reports said the north London club paid 350,000 euros ($480,500) for Toral, who was free to sign with any professional team.

Toral came through the Spanish champion’s La Masia ranks like Fabregas and fellow prospect Fran Merida, both signed by Arsenal as teenagers. Fabregas is Arsenal’s captain and Merida currently is with Atletico Madrid.

Arsenal also signed 18-year-old Ignasi Miquel from Barcelona in 2008, and the defender played in Sunday’s 1-1 FA Cup draw at Leyton Orient.

Toral’s agent is Pere Guardiola, a brother of Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola.

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