The Barcelona announcement that will impact Arsenal’s hopes of landing Neto and Riqui Puig

Arsenal have been dealt a potentially damaging blow in their bids to land Barcelona pair Neto and Riqui Puig.

The Gunners have been heavily linked with goalkeeper Neto in recent days amid concerns over whether Runar Alex Runarrson has the quality to be the club’s number two and challenge regular starter Bernd Leno.

Runarsson only arrived last season from Dijon, but there is already talk he could become the club’s number three with Neto tipped to make the move to north London.

But developments in Catalonia have put an almighty spanner in the works of any potential deal involving Neto – who is said to want guarantees of being number one – or any move for 21-year-old midfield talent Puig.

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Puig was reportedly made available for loan after penning a new deal with Barcelona ahead of his contract expiring in the summer.

But things might now change for the youngster, and particularly for Neto, due to Barca’s announcement on Friday that the presidential elections have been delayed.

Joan Laporta, Victor Font and Toni Freixa were all set to go head-to-head in the club’s election on January 24 after the race was whittled down to three earlier this month.

But the date of the election has now been pushed back to March 7 due to coronavirus restrictions in Catalonia.

One of the candidates, Font, said on Friday after meeting with the acting president Carles Tusquets and the other candidates: “What I defended – elections with maximum participation – was guaranteed.

Neto has been linked with a move to Arsenal

“The two priorities we now have to work on is how to broaden the voting stations and the vote by mail.

“We have to reassure Barcelona fans – all the decisions that the board make will be done with consensus.”

That’s important because Barca’s hopes of making new signings this month seemingly relied on the announcement of a new…