Barcelona are set to make a formal bid for Hector Bellerín once they announce Ernesto Valverde as the club’s new manager, according to Mundo Deportivo.

This transfer link continues to rumble on and despite the Spaniard only signing a lucrative contract extension in November last year. Barça have been desperate to unsettle the full-back, as we reported last week.

The club’s technical director Robert Fernández has reportedly kept in contact with Bellerín’s representatives and this is believed to be important in advancing negotiations further.

Bellerín has already given Arsenal assurances that he’ll reject Manchester City’s advances as they’ve also been linked with his signature in the past. Pep Guardiola has been a long-time admirer of the Spaniard but it’s become increasingly unlikely that he’ll move elsewhere in England’s top flight based on his loyalties in north London.

They’re keen to capitalise on the fact that Arsenal will not compete in next season’s UEFA Champions League and although Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has featured in a right wing-back role, they believe he’ll continue to impress there before being given an opportunity to play in central midfield further down the line.

Barça are keen to push Sergi Roberto into his preferred role in midfield, whilst Aleix Vidal will compete for a starting berth at right-back. Monaco’s Djibril Sidibe is a possible alternative but the chance to sign a youth academy product would be too much for the club’s hierarchy to ignore.

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Football writer. Objective reviews and analysis of European football. Lifelong Arsenal fan, youth football enthusiast.