By London correspondent Tony Hughes
Arsenal will offer Hector Bellerin to a new contract worth £96,000-a-week to keep him out of the clutches of Barcelona and Manchester City, according to a report.
The Sun claim that the north London club are willing to virtually double Bellerin’s £50,000-a-week wages in an attempt to persuade him to sign a fresh deal.
It is said manager Arsene Wenger is keen to recognise the value of a player who is a target for Barcelona’s Luis Enrique and City manager Pep Guardiola.
The right-back, 21, has become one of the most sought after youngsters in world football following his impressive progress in the last 18 months.
La Masia academy graduate Bellerin has made 82 appearances for the Gunners and has also won three senior Spain caps.
His club manager Wenger admitted on Thursday that Arsenal are working on tying Bellerin to an improved contract.
“Hector has nearly three years of his contract to go — and that is why I’m surprised by the speculation,” Wenger said, as quoted by the Sun. “We will try to extend his contract because, for me, his long-term future is here.”
Bellerin has started all nine of Arsenal’s Premier League and Champions League matches this season to demonstrate his significance to Wenger’s side.