Pep Guardiola’s admiration for Arsenal right-back Héctor Bellerín is well known and Manchester City made an unsuccessful attempt to lure away the 22-year-old last summer when the new City boss had Bellerín and Alex Sandro of Juventus in mind as his new full-backs (and in the end signed none).
Since then, rumours have continued that City would like Bellerín at the Etihad, but just recently have started to die down a little, with talk that Barcelona are in pole position to sign their former academy player.
Barça sporting director, Robert Fernández, was in attendance at the Emirates yesterday as Bellerín’s Arsenal came out 2-0 winners over Manchester United. Bellerín, who has not been a guaranteed starter for Arsenal of late, played only 6 minutes towards the end, but Fernández was aware he would not be starting and may have been there to hold talks with Arsenal chiefs over a transfer.
So what has become of City’s interest? According to Mundo Deportivo, it hasn’t gone away and Txiki Begiristain has an open offer on the table for the right-back to join Guardiola in Manchester.
Begiristain is in regular contact with Albert Botines, Bellerín’s representative, to remind him that Guardiola is very interested in the player and would have full confidence in him – something that Arsène Wenger has appeared short of lately, with Bellerín featuring for 15-plus minutes only once in Arsenal’s last five games.
Unfortunately for Txiki and Pep, the Barcelona-born youngster is worried that a move to Manchester City or any other Premier League side would be seen as a ‘betrayal’ of Arsenal. With that in mind, his preference is for a return to Barcelona, which could be done quite amicably and without years of hisses and boos from the Arsenal faithful.
A departure from Arsenal isn’t certain yet for Bellerín, but it looking more likely that he could be on his way, with Barcelona poised to beat Manchester City to his signature. City have other right-backs in mind, with Kyle Walker now thought to be the first-choice target.
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