While Arsenal fans will be proud to see Hector Bellerin representing the Spanish national team at Euro 2016, they could be forgiven if they felt slightly concerned about the interest his performances might generate from Barcelona.
With Dani Alves poised to leave the Camp Nou for Juventus, Barca are in the market for a new right-back and Bellerin - who was born and raised in the Catalan city and spent eight years in the club’s youth ranks - appears to tick all the boxes.
The 21-year-old recently insisted that he has no plans to return to Barcelona, but the lure of lining up alongside the likes of Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Neymar and Luis Suarez at his boyhood club could prove too irresistible to turn down.
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The Gunners’ faithful have experienced a similar situation once before with Cesc Fabregas and it would come as little shock if Bellerin followed in the midfielder’s footsteps in the near future.
However, it’s clear that Bellerin is happy and proud to be an Arsenal player.
Bellerin likes tweet mocking Spurs
The adventurous full-back is adamant that he wants to stay at the Emirates Stadium, despite reported interest from his former employers, and has bought into the rivalry with north London rivals Tottenham since arriving in England five years ago.
This was evident over the weekend when he ‘liked’ a tweet mocking Spurs.
When a Tottenham fan tweeted that Eric Dier’s free-kick for England against Russia counted as a goal for Spurs, one cheeky Arsenal fan responded: “So now its 5-2 to Newcastle?”
This was, of course, a reference to Tottenham’s shock 5-1 defeat to the Magpies on the final day of the 2015-16 campaign.
Bellerin obviously found the tweet amusing and gave it a like; it didn’t go unnoticed by eagle-eyed Twitter users.
Bellerin's latest quotes on his future
If Bellerin shines over the next few weeks, speculation linking him with a big-money move to Barcelona will inevitably intensify.
However, asked about his future again over the weekend, the right-back told Spanish reporters that he wants to stay with the Gunners.
“I am very happy at Arsenal,” he was quoted as saying by EcoDiario. “I renewed last year and have many years left. I am very happy.
“I do not think about going to anywhere else.”
Will Hector Bellerin still be an Arsenal player next season? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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