After reports that Barcelona had been ‘tapping up’ Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin, the Gunners are ready to ward off interest by offering him a new deal.
The 21-year-old enjoyed a strong season with the Gunners last year, establishing himself as Arsene Wenger’s first-choice right-back moving forward with a string of consistent and impressive performances.
However, there might have been some level of concern at the Emirates following reports in Spain from El Confidencial that Barcelona had contacted the Spaniard with a view of discussing a return to the club that he started his career with.
That appears to have alerted Arsenal with The Mirror claiming just a day later that they are ready to secure the Spanish international’s future with a new deal to replace the one that currently runs until 2019.
Bellerin’s more immediate focus will now be on Euro 2016 after he was selected by Vicente Del Bosque in his final 23-man squad, and he will want to avoid speculation over his future distracting him from gaining playing time in France this summer.
Given that there has been no formal or official bid from the Catalan giants, it remains to be seen how much truth is behind the reports that they have made contact with Bellerin, with neither Arsenal nor his agent involved in the alleged approach.
Bellerin made 44 appearances in all competitions last season, scoring one goal and providing eight assists, and while the appeal of a return to his hometown club could be something that he can’t ignore in the years to come, it is widely expected that he will continue to play an integral role for Arsenal for the foreseeable future.