Amid the fallout from Arsenal’s predictable, yet painful defeats to Manchester City the past few days is news coming out today from The Guardian’s David Hytner that Hector Bellerin’s emerged as Juventus’ top summer transfer target, and that the player is “keen” to move.
Bellerin, as you may recall, angled for a move back home to Barcelona last summer before being reminded of his Arsenal contract and the five-and-a-half years remaining on it. He stayed, and has been a regular for an Arsenal side that’s produced arguably the worst season since Arsene Wenger arrived 22 years ago. So it’s little wonder that Bellerin’s the focus of attention abroad.
Hytner, in his article, weaves in an interesting angle to this transfer rumor. Going back to the Barcelona interest from last summer, pulling the strings for the Catalan side was none other than then-Director of Football Raúl Sanllehí, now Head of Football Relations at Arsenal. If there’s a person within the walls at Colney who understands Bellerin’s wishes for his career better than anyone else, it’s probably the guy who attempted to engineer his transfer away a mere seven months ago. If sympathy and feelings play a part in the ruthless, cut-throat business in this sport, then one can draw a simple straight line away from Arsenal for Bellerin.
More to come, as always. In the meantime, try hard to avoid the cheering online today from the dumber section of our fanbase who criticized Bellerin last month for his comments at Oxford and who no doubt would prefer him out of the club.