By Alex Taylor
Manchester City have identified Hector Bellerin as a key target, according to a report.
The Mail claim that the Arsenal right-back is being lined up in the January transfer window by the Premier League leaders.
It is said that both City and Barcelona have made the 21-year-old Spain international their top priority in terms of future recruitment.
They asked about him during the summer and will return when the winter window re-opens.
Barcelona could have an emotional pull on Bellerin as he was born in the city and left the Nou Camp for Arsenal five years ago, at the age of 16.
But City also have strong appeal and a secret weapon in assistant manager Mikel Arteta, the former Gunners captain who was integral to helping his fellow Spaniard settle at Emirates Stadium before joining Pep Guardiola’s coaching staff in the summer.
“Mikel and his wife adopted me when I arrived,” said Bellerin, in an interview in May. “I was a kid and he has been like a father to me.”
Bellerin has been in contract talks with Arsenal for months but has yet to extend the four-year deal he signed in 2015.
He still has three years to run on his current deal in north London but could be tempted by a move to a team more capable of competing for one of the major trophies.
The former Watford loanee has developed into of the best right-backs in England since taking advantage of an injury to Mathieu Debuchy in December 2014.
Bellerin has played 122 career matches scoring eight goals and providing 15 assists.