By Amir Mir
Arsenal are keen to tie Hector Bellerin to a new contract worth £80,000-a-week to keep him out of the reach of Barcelona and Manchester City, according to a report.
The Telegraph claim that the north London club are willing to double Bellerin’s £40,000-a-week wages in an attempt to persuade him to commit his future beyond the next three years.
The 21-year-old right-back 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 established himself as one of the most feared full-backs in the Premier League last season, as his raw pace and ability out wide troubled numerous defences.
His club manager Wenger admitted on Thursday that Arsenal are working on tying Bellerin to an improved contract.
“I think he loves to be here and he has responsibilities already in the dressing room for such a young age,” said Wenger as quoted by the Telegraph.
“It’s something remarkable. I think now that you do not necessarily have to play where you were born. Modern life is not exactly like that and what is important is that the player meets his needs where he is and his values- I think he is a real Arsenal player.
“He has nearly three years to go and we always try get the players to the level where we think they deserve to be. So we try to extend, certainly, his contract but for me, his long-term future is here.”
Bellerin made 44 appearances in all competitions last term, supplying eight assists and scoring one goal from the full-back position.
The Spain international has earned three senior caps for his country in 2016, providing an assist in his second appearance.
This season he has continued his fine form, most recently in the 3-0 thumping of rivals Chelsea, where he showcased his raw speed and quality going forward as he helped his side to a comfortable victory.