Barcelona are considering making an approach for Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin as a replacement for Dani Alves in the right-back position. The Brazil full-back left the Catalan club and joined Juventus on 27 June.
Alves signed a two-year deal with the Serie A winners, with an option to further extend the deal by one year. He becomes the Turin club's second addition of the summer following the arrival of Miralem Pjanic from AS Roma.
According to the Evening Standard, Bellerin has emerged as a target for the Spanish champions as Luis Enrique looks to bolster the squad for the 2016/17 season. Barcelona believe Bellerin is the ideal candidate to replace Alves at the club.
The 21-year-old Gunners defender came up through Barcelona's famous academy La Masia, before joining the north London club in 2011. After spending two years in Arsenal's youth set-up, Arsene Wenger promoted the Spain international to the first team in 2013.
In the last two seasons, Bellerin has been the first choice right-back at the Emirates and the Evening Standard claims he is valued to be around £43.1m ($57.5m). His impressive display for the Premier League outfit has seen him attract interest from Barcelona, who are considering a move to bring him back to Spain.
Barcelona signed Alex Vidal from Sevilla last summer and he was set to be Alves' long-term replacement at the club. However, he has struggled to impress Luis Enrique and has fallen down the pecking order at Camp Nou.
The La Liga side's sporting director Robert Fernandez admitted that Bellerin is a "fantastic player", but refused to confirm his side's interest in the player.
"I haven't raised [Bellerin] at this point. He's a fantastic player who we know because he grew up here but at this time I'm not raising anything in this regard," Fernandez said, as quoted by Evening Standard.
Meanwhile, Bellerin has also welcomed reports linking him with a move to Spain. The full-back admitted he was "happy" to receive interest from a "great club" like Barcelona.
"I don't really get informed about offers. My agent is the one that works on these sort of things, but I'm happy to receive interest from such great clubs. As a player, it's really nice," the Mirror quoted Bellerin as saying.
"Right now I'm very happy where I am, at Arsenal and focusing on the national team. With these things, until you don't know what to do until they arrive. If Alves leaves they will need a full-back, there are lots in Europe," the Arsenal defender added.