Arsenal U-turn needed to breathe life into deal for in-demand 21-year-old - report
By Dominic Toner
Manchester City have dropped their interest in Hector Bellerin after Arsenal made it clear there was no chance of the right-back being sold, according to a report.
Bellerin’s representatives revealed to Spanish publication Mondo Deportivo that Bellerin was delighted to be linked with City and would be tempted by a possible reunion with Pep Guardiola.
City are keen to address the right-back issue given that Bacary Sagna and Pablo Zabaleta have both entered their 30s and are at the veteran stages of their careers.
But the Manchester Evening News report that Man City have now been forced to end their pursuit of Bellerin after Arsenal made it clear that he would not be sold.
It is said that it would require a major U-turn from the Londoners to breathe life into a potential deal.
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Bellerin knows Guardiola since he emerged through the Barcelona ranks in his teens but it appears Wenger has now fended off rivals for the player.
The 21-year-old has developed himself into one of the Premier League’s most capable right-backs and was named by his peers in the PFA Premier League team of 2015/16.
Bellerin is contracted to the Gunners until 2019 and could have followed in the footsteps of Bacary Sagna and Samir Nasri by making the switch to Manchester.
The right-back is expected to maintain his number one spot in the team this season ahead of Mathieu Debuchy, Calum Chambers and Carl Jenkinson.
The youngster was named in Spain’s Euro 2016 squad however the reigning champions went crashing out in the last 16 to Italy.
Arsene Wenger has already bolstered his squad this window with Granit Xhaka and Japanese forward Takuma Asano joining the Londoners, and defender Rob Holding has now undergone a medical with the club.
In other Arsenal transfer news, their forward has responded to reports that he is being sold.