Transfer News: Arsenal 'sounding out clubs' about taking 26 y/o off their hands

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta on the touchline in the Europa League

According to journalist Pete O'Rourke, Hector Bellerin could leave Arsenal on loan this summer, as the Gunners are sounding out potential suitors for the defender.

What’s the latest transfer news involving Hector Bellerin?

Sky Sports in Italy last month revealed that Inter Milan are interested in signing Arsenal right-back Bellerin on a loan deal with an option to buy him next summer.

The report suggested that the Gunners value the 26-year-old in the region of £17m and the Italian outfit see the Spaniard as an ideal replacement for Achraf Hakimi.

What has Pete O’Rourke said about Bellerin’s future?

Journalist O'Rourke claims that reports suggesting Bellerin could leave Arsenal are true and the Gunners are sounding out clubs that could be interested in the defender.

Speaking on The Football Terrace, O’Rourke said, “The reports that Bellerin could be leaving Arsenal are very much true, I think Arsenal are sounding out clubs that could be interested in Hector Bellerin.

“He wasn’t always a regular starter for Mikel Arteta’s side, he’s among the highest wage earners as well so I think Arsenal would consider getting him off the books just to raise some funds."

O'Rourke added that Arsenal may be forced into loaning out Bellerin as clubs are not willing to match their asking price for the Spaniard.

He said, “The only problem here for Arsenal is they might have to loan him rather than sell him because he’s probably going to cost a good £30m plus and I don’t think many clubs are willing to spend that right now.”

Check out what O'Rourke said in full about Bellerin's situation in the video below...

How did Bellerin perform for Arsenal this season?

Bellerin had a decent 2020/21 campaign for Arsenal despite the Gunners' eighth place Premier League finish. According to WhoScored, the 26-year-old made 25 appearances for the side in England's top flight this term and averaged 1.2 tackles and 1.3 interceptions per game.

Bellerin played 2093 Premier League minutes for Arsenal this season - the most he has achieved since the 2017/18 campaign, which suggests that he is starting to overcome his previous injury troubles.

According to Transfermarkt, the defender was absent with injuries for 319 days between November 2018 and January 2020 - equating to 50 games missed for Arsenal.

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How much did Arsenal pay for Shkodran Mustafi?

Can Arsenal afford to let him leave the club? 

Arguably not.

Arsenal are particularly thin in regards to the right-back position. The Gunners' only other options aside from Bellerin in that area are Cedric Soares and Calum Chambers, although the latter is predominantly a central defender.

If Bellerin were to leave the north London outfit this summer he would need to be replaced with a first team quality option to ensure that they don't leave themselves short next season.

The Athletic last month claimed that Arsenal are keen on signing RB Leizpig's Tyler Adams. The 22-year-old would be a shrewd acquisition for the Gunners as he can cover at both right-back and central midfield.

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