With his contract set to breach that all-important ‘two-years-remaining mark’ (when clubs usually decide to offer an improved deal or sell) next summer, Bellerin’s future at Arsenal has been the subject of much speculation in recent weeks.
Indeed, Spanish publication Sport claimed last month that the right-back had emerged as a prime target for former employers Barcelona, following a conversation between manager Luis Enrique and director Robert Fernandez, and The Daily Mail later followed up by reporting on interest from Arsenal’s Premier League rivals Manchester City – coincidentally enough, headed by former Barca boss Pep Guardiola.
The Sun, documenting interest from both clubs once again, claim Arsenal are hoping to fend off Barca and City by agreeing a new contract with the 21-year-old. The Gunners are eager to hold talks with his representatives after the international break.
Here’s where things get a little interesting. The Times have a different take on essentially the same story, believing Bellerin has already been offered a five-year contract that will double his earnings to £100k per week.
However, they’re of the opinion that Bellerin could reject Arsenal’s offer and cite ‘sources close to the player’ in claiming the Spain international’s preference is to link up with Guardiola, who he encountered during his days in Barcelona’s famous La Masia youth system, at Manchester City.
Full-back is a huge problem area for the Citizens long-term, with Pablo Zabaleta, Aleksandar Kolarov, Bacary Sagna and Gael Clichy all the wrong side of 30, and Arsenal have a knack of surrendering key players to the Eithad Stadium outfit.
However, the north Londoners still have the best part of three years to convince Bellerin otherwise and Arsene Wenger remains adamant none of his top performers will be sold.