The story that Barcelona are ready to return for Hector Bellerin has taken another turn: apparently, the right-back is willing to leave is Arsene Wenger does.
On Wednesday, it was reported by Spanish outlet, Mundo Deportivo, that the Catalan giants wanted to put an end to their defensive problems by signing Bellerin, despite the Spaniard only signing a new six-and-a-half year contract with Arsenal in November.
Now, The Guardian claim that if Wenger goes, Bellerin is open to leaving.
Annoyingly, this does make sense. Barcelona clearly want him back after Arsenal signed him from their youth team in 2011 and Bellerin explicitly said when he signed his new extension, taking his new deal with the Gunners up to 2023, that Wenger was part of this.
“Arsene was really influential for me on the moment when I signed to come over here,” the defender told the Daily Mirror.
“He was there talking to me when I first got to the Emirates and he was one of the reasons why I signed with the club.
“Just the confidence he has given me, especially after not the greatest debut at Dortmund – my first games weren’t the best!
“From then, I always knew I wanted to repay him and that’s what I’m doing right now and obviously that is why I wanted to stay at the club.”
Of course, at the time, most assumed that he’d agreed to sign his deal because he knew that Wenger was in fact staying. Now, it’s not looking so certain.
Wenger’s contract runs out at the end of the season and it’s looking as if the Frenchman could be gone come summer. Whether that will trigger the exit of some of our best players, we don’t know. All we can do is wait.