The interest in Arsenal full back Hector Bellerin heats up, as Manchester City allegedly enters the race to ink the 21-year-old Spaniard.
The Mirror reports that City hopes to wedge itself in between the sputtering attempts between Arsenal and Bellerin to hash out a long-term deal. After a strong last season from Bellerin, Arsenal promised in April to forge a new contract with the defender.
Thus far, that promise is proving empty and encouraging City to poke around a bit even after last summer’s apparent rebuke from the Gunners’ front office to Blues’ director of football Txiki Begiristain. Arsenal insists Bellerin is not up for auction, but as stated earlier, the club has failed to get him to commit to stay in north London.
City also shares interest with Barcelona in signing Bellerin away from Arsenal. The La Liga giants apparently want to resign him as the heir apparent to defensive stalwart Dani Alves. Bellerin is a product of the Catalan’s famed La Masia academy. This pedigree obviously makes him alluring to City boss Pep Guardiola.
Pep also apparently covets another Nou Camp export residing at the Emirates — Alexis Sanchez. However, Bellerin makes more sense as an addition to the Blues’ ranks, given his youth and the aging pieces City possesses on the defensive wings. Pablo Zabaleta, Bacary Sagna, Gael Clichy and Aleksandar Kolarov are all over 30. It is time for City to look to retool in that area of the field.
Whether there is something substantial to either of these rumors, however, remains to be seen. It could be a ploy by Bellerin’s and Alexis’ agents to force Arsenal to the table with an appearance of attractive suitors lining up for their clients.
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Arsenal currently rates Bellerin at £40 million, but as clubs like City begin to circle, that asking price is likely to increase, ensuring he becomes the most expensive full back in history.