Arsenal star Hector Bellerin has been linked once again with a return to Barcelona as the La Liga giants have reportedly earmarked the signing of a right-back as a top priority for the January transfer window. AS claims that the Spaniard is in a short list of three candidates to bolster the Catalan side along Valencia's Joao Cancelo and Shakhtar Donetsk's Darijo Srna.
Barcelona already broke the bank to overhaul Luis Enrique's squad during the summer with the signing of Paco Alcacer, Jasper Cillessen, Denis Suarez, Samuel Umtiti, Lucas Digne and Andre Gomes.
Earlier in June Mundo Deportivo and Sport reported that the clubs were also considering to sign a new right-back to fill the huge gap left by departure of Dani Alves to Juventus. Yet, Douglas Pereira and Martin Montoya failed to convince Luis Enrique to deserve a place in his plans and also left the club to join Sporting Gijon – on loan – and Valencia respectively.
However, Barcelona eventually opted against bolstering the position as the manager also had Aleix Vidal and versatile Sergi Roberto to cover the role.
But the future of the former Sevilla wing-back has been under scrutiny in recent times after earlier this month AS reported that in the dying days of the transfer window he asked Barcelona to let him go for free. The La Liga giants rejected his proposal after they paid around €18m (£15m, $20m) to Sevilla to sign him only last summer but his future at the club continue up in the air, having only made two appearances in the first seven games of the campaign.
Both AS and Croatian Publication Tribuna.com reported earlier this month Barcelona were thus closely monitoring the situation of 34-year-old Srna since Pep Guardiola's days and there were suggestions that he could rescind his contract with Shakhtar Donetsk to move as a free-agent.
AS now is reporting that the Croatian international is still on the Barcelona shopping list as cheap option ahead of the January transfer window as Luis Enrique has demanded the board to sign a right-back to replace Vidal.
The Spanish publications claim that Barcelona are also considering to make a move for Arsenal star Hector Bellerin or Cancelo even though they now that they would need to break the bank to secure their services.
However, other sources in Spain recently claimed that Barcelona were ready to give up on the signing of Bellerin as they are seeking a back-up for Sergi Roberto rather than a high-profile star like the Arsenal star.
Nevertheless, in the summer Sport suggested that Barcelona eventually ruled out Bellerin as Arsene Wenger was demanding at least €40m (£34.2m, $44.6m) to part ways with him as the Spaniard has become into a crucial player for the Gunners during the last two campaigns.