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Arsene Wenger is looking to make it difficult for Barcelona in their pursuit of Gunner’s right-back Hector Bellerin.
The Catalan giants are reportedly looking to sign the fullback this summer as they prepare for the exit of Dani Alves.
The Catalan giants have already assigned representatives to initiate contact with Bellerin’s camp concerning a potential move back to the Camp Nou.
The La Liga side’s sporting director Robert Fernandez admitted that Bellerin is a “fantastic player”, but refused to confirm his side’s interest in the player.
“I haven’t raised [Bellerin] at this point. He’s a fantastic player who we know because he grew up here but at this time I’m not raising anything in this regard,” Fernandez said, as quoted by Evening Standard.
Since leaving Barcelona at the age of 16, Bellerin has developed into one of the best fullbacks in world football and his impressive displays were rewarded with a place in last season’s PFA young player of the year’s Nominee.
It appears the Catalan giants have been monitoring Bellerin closely and are mulling over a bid but Wenger is set to frustrate the Spanish giants attempts as Sport via Goal reports that Wenger has placed a £43.1m ($57.5m) price tag on the defender to deter the Spanish club. Wenger is not prepared to lose Bellerin to the Catalan giants like he did with Fabregas in 2011.
Paris Saint Germain have also been credited with an interest in the 21 year old but the player is not seeking a move away from the Emirates. Bellerin broke into the Gunners first 11 last season and has gone on to be an integral part of the squad.
Meanwhile, Bellerin has also welcomed reports linking him with a move to Spain. The full-back admitted he was “happy” to receive interest from a “great club” like Barcelona.
“I don’t really get informed about offers. My agent is the one that works on these sort of things, but I’m happy to receive interest from such great clubs. As a player, it’s really nice,” the Mirror quoted Bellerin as saying.
“Right now I’m very happy where I am, at Arsenal and focusing on the national team. With these things, until you don’t know what to do until they arrive. If Alves leaves they will need a full-back, there are lots in Europe,” the Arsenal defender added.