Arsenal face fight to keep Hector Bellerin away from Barcelona

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Reports coming from Spain suggest Arsene Wenger has a fight on his hands to keep Hector Bellerin at the club for much longer.

Bellerin, who is formerly of Barcelona's famous La Masia academy, has been linked with a return in the past but it is thought interest from the Spanish champions is now far more concrete.

Letting Dani Alves depart the Camp Nou in the summer has left a bigger void than Luis Enrique initially thought and they are ready to make a move for Arsenal's young right-back, according to Spanish publication Sport.

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Aleix Vidal has failed to impress since moving from Sevilla and therefore Barcelona want to follow up on a brief conversation held with Bellerin back in May about his future in north London.

Given Arsenal's reputation as becoming somewhat of a feeder club for the Catalan giants in recent times, Gunners fans have every right to be feeling twitchy regarding Barcelona's interest.

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Their sporting director, Robert Fernandez, and Enrique are both in agreement that Bellerin is the most capable player to fit into the Spanish boss' very demanding system.

Bellerin's current contract at the Emirates Stadium expires in 2019 but Arsene Wenger and other club officials are keen to see him extend his stay for at least another two years.

This has put Barcelona under pressure to make their move for him before a new deal can be agreed and they are priced out of the potential transfer.

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The 21-year-old looks set to have a very difficult decision to make.

Staying at the team who have given him his major break and allowed him to become one of the most consistent right-backs in the Premier League or returning to his boyhood club to join the likes of Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi.

Bellerin may not get a better opportunity to join a side competing for La Liga and in the latter stages of the Champions League every year, so sticking at the Emirates would represent an act of loyalty Cesc Fabregas, Thomas Vermaelen, Alex Song and even Thierry Henry were unable to provide after they all joined Barcelona from Arsenal.

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Thierry Henry
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