Is Bellerin Barcelona-bound? Arsenal defender addresses exit talk

Hector Bellerin, Arsenal
The Spain international defender continues to be linked with a return to his roots at Camp Nou, but he is paying little attention to the rumours

Hector Bellerin claims to be “so happy” at Arsenal that he is paying little attention to reports linking him with Barcelona and Juventus.

Since bursting onto the scene with the Gunners in 2015, the Spain international defender has long been linked with a return to his roots in Catalunya.

As a product of the famed La Masia academy system, Bellerin is considered to be a suitable long-term option for Barca’s right-back berth.

Serie A giants Juventus are also said to be keen on the 23-year-old, but a man who remains tied to a long-term contract at Emirates Stadium insists he is giving no thought to a summer switch.

Bellerin told luxury online retailer Mr Porter when quizzed on the exit talk: “I don’t know what to say – football always changes. I’m so happy here. 

“This has been my home for seven years. I sound like a Londoner, my friends are from London – it’s the place I want to be right now. 

“In the future, you never know. Obviously, I grew up in Barcelona, and when I watch them play I want them to win. The team are always going to be in my heart.”

It may be that Bellerin has to prove himself all over again at Arsenal before he can follow his heart back home.

His form, much like that of the Gunners, has dipped in recent years to spark criticism of his contribution to the collective cause.

Hector Bellerin Arsenal happy

He acknowledges that his standards have dipped of late, with those at Emirates Stadium experiencing a “tough” time in what will be Arsene Wenger’s final campaign after 22 years at the helm.

“At the beginning, I was someone who was doing really well,” added Bellerin.

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“Then when things started going not that well, everything was just negative, negative, negative.

“As a team, if you don’t have the best season, it doesn’t help…It’s been a tough one.

“We were doing well until November. We always have that period where we suffer a little bit. As a team, the most important thing is results. If you can win beautifully like [Manchester] City do – even better.”