Barcelona sporting director Robert Fernandez travelled to London on Sunday afternoon to watch Hector Bellerín against Manchester United, reports suggest.
The 22-year-old fullback has been heavily linked with a move back to the Nou Camp in recent seasons – having made an impressive senior breakthrough during the 2014/15 campaign.
With the Gunners’ well-documented shortcomings of late, it’s no real surprise that speculation surrounding the Spaniard has begun to rumble once more. He hasn’t been performing at his best this term and ever since an ankle injury in November, he’s looked far from 100% despite reports claiming he has made a full recovery.
Rumours suggest that Wenger made the decision to risk his fitness by delaying ankle surgery until this summer, as opposed to playing Carl Jenkinson.
However, if Bellerín still has underlying injury issues, this should’ve been the main priority and unfortunately as a consequence, he’s received the brunt of supporter discontent for disappointing performances in recent months.
Bellerín made a cameo appearance against United, replacing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with just over five minutes plus stoppage time to play. It’s his second successive match as a second-half sub but Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo revealed Fernandez knew beforehand that Hector wouldn’t be starting.
The last thing he needs on his mind right now is more speculation about his long-term future, having recently signed a new and improved extension with Arsenal.
It’s almost as if Barca are trying to unsettle him and the club to the point where they virtually loosen their stance on his availability.