Aleix Vidal says he would welcome Hector Bellerin at Barcelona – but warns the Arsenal star he is prepared to fight for the first-choice right-back spot under Ernesto Valverde. The former Sevilla man said he is "100% staying" at the Nou Camp next season, no matter who the Catalans sign.
Vidal, 27, moved to the Nou Camp in the summer of 2015 with a view to becoming the long-term replacement for Dani Alves. The Spaniard was unable to play during the first part of the 2015-16 season due to a Fifa registration ban and later struggled to make the impact expected under Luis Enrique.
The former Sevilla full-back barely featured during the first part of the 2016-17 season after Luis Enrique surprisingly opted to cover the gap left by Alves's switch to Juventus with midfielders such as Sergi Roberto.
Vidal managed to turn that situation around at the start of 2017. However, a serious ankle injury suffered in February hampered again his chances of establishing himself in the Barcelona line-up.
Vidal's position at the club is still under question as Barcelona have earmarked the signing of Bellerin from Arsenal as a top priority for the upcoming transfer window.
Barcelona plan to move Sergi Roberto back to midfield, so the potential big-money arrival of Bellerin will probably leave Vidal as a back-up for the Arsenal star.
"Barcelona have to have the best players. I am not worried about who can come in. The rivalry will be healthy [if Bellerin comes]," Vidal said to Cadena Ser. "Valverde likes to change the formation and he knows that I've always played as a winger and I also can help there. If Bellerin comes, he will be welcomed and I will fight for a position as I have always done. Where we have to talk is in the pitch. There will always be minutes for everyone."
Vidal added that he will continue at Barcelona after having been given guarantees by club president Josep Maria Bartomeu.
"I thought a lot of things with my family but I never had the idea to leave. I'm a very proud guy and I wanted to turn the situation around. I managed to do it and I'm 100% staying [at Barcelona next season]. I have not talked to Valverde but I have spoken with the president and the intention is for me to continue. I am staying."