Arsenal will consider Bellerin's desire to leave
Hector Bellerin could leave Arsenal this summer as part of an agreement with manager Mikel Arteta, sources have told ESPN.
The 25-year-old wanted to quit the Gunners at the end of last season when Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona emerged as serious options, but stayed following heart-to-heart talks with Arteta, whom he has a close relationship with from their playing days at the club.
ESPN can reveal that in discussions last year Arteta asked Bellerin to give the club one more season and in return, they would consider an exit this summer. PSG and Barcelona were keen on exploring a deal for Bellerin -- although the Ligue 1 club have privately played down reports they made a £30 million offer -- but the defender stayed in north London, committing himself at fellow Spaniard Arteta's request for one more season.
Their bond was vital in helping the Gunners push through a 12.5% wage cut -- which was later reduced to 7.5% upon winning the FA Cup -- last April as Bellerin, the club's designated Professional Footballers' Association representative, led talks on behalf of the first-team squad.
Sources have confirmed there are no open conversations between Bellerin and the club regarding his future, but there is a sense from both sides that with two years left on his contract, this summer represents the right time to move on after a decade at the Emirates.
Bellerin has not been short of suitors in the past, but a potential destination now appears unclear. PSG are not expected to be in the running given they signed Alessandro Florenzi on loan from Roma and are planning to take up an option to make the deal permanent for €9m.
Barcelona signed USMNT international Sergino Dest in a £23.8m deal last October. Manchester United expressed an interest in Bellerin several years ago but spent £50m on Aaron Wan-Bissaka in June 2019. -- James Olley