The Spain international has been strongly linked as one of the Catalans’ top targets as they eye a long-term replacement for the legendary Dani Alves, but they may be unable to get a deal done.
While Bellerin himself has also been keen to move back to the Nou Camp after starting his career in Barca’s academy, he has been told in no uncertain terms by his manager that he’s not going to be sold.
The 22-year-old has a contract with the Gunners until 2023 after committing his future last season, but speculation had been mounting that he could try to force his way out of the Emirates Stadium.
It was claimed earlier today that Wenger would seek to hold crisis talks with both Bellerin and unsettled team-mate Alexis Sanchez over their futures in a bid to keep both players.
Reports later in the afternoon suggest the Frenchman’s work may be paying off, with the Daily Mirror claiming he’s put any chance of a Barca move to bed after discussing it with Bellerin.
Hector Bellerin | Praise for Valverde and his Barca dilemma
‘It is very nice to hear about the interest from a club like Barca, the club I grew up with from when I was a kid.‘I do not know anything at the moment. I’m an Arsenal player, but we’ll see what happens.
‘It’s something you don’t think about when you leave, because you do not know how things are going to go.
‘I was lucky enough to join Arsenal, things have gone well, and now receiving this kind of news from Barca makes me happy, but that does not just depend on me.
‘Of course [I have followed his career]! He is a coach whose style will suit Barcelona very well. He had had a very good season with Athletic and I think he will fit in very well at Barca.’
Sources in Chile also suggest Sanchez may be ready to see out his contract in north London after failing to get anywhere with a move to either Manchester City or Bayern Munich.
As well as talking to Bellerin, Arsenal are now expected to warn Barcelona that they are unhappy with them trying to ‘destabilise’ their players.