Arsenal have reportedly told Barcelona they will have to pay £38.6 million if they are to prise young right-back Hector Bellerin away from the Emirates, according to Don Balon in Spain.
Recent reports have suggested Luis Enrique’s side could attempt to bring Bellerin back to Camp Nou in January with Spanish newspaper Sport claiming they are desperate to land the Gunner as they are struggling to fill the void left by Dani Alves, who left for Juventus in the summer after eight years at the club.
Barcelona vice president Jordi Mestre has also added to the speculation by praising the young full-back in an interview with Sport this week.
“He’s a great player, there’s no doubt about that,” he said. “Wenger convinced him to move [in 2011] and promised him something which we couldn’t.
“We could not promise him that within two years he would be playing in Dani Alves’ place.
“In many cases it’s good that they leave to develop as players and then return [with that experience].
“Look at the cases of Cesc [Fabregas], [Gerard] Pique, [Jordi] Alba and Denis Suarez… I hope the same thing will happen with [Sergi] Samper, too.”
Bellerin joined Arsenal from Barcelona in 2011 and has gone on to become a key figure for the Gunners despite his relatively young age, the full-back only turned 21 in March. Arsenal fans would undoubtedly hate to see Bellerin leave but a transfer fee of close to £40m may ease the pain slightly.
Arsene Wenger too would undoubtedly be loathe to lose Bellerin, yet a return to Barcelona would certainly be an attractive proposition the youngster may find difficult to turn down. Neither Aleix Vidal nor Sergi Roberto have impressed so far in that berth this season meaning Barca could well be in the market for a right-back when the transfer window reopens.