Hector Bellerin looks set to have his long-term future at Arsenal, with reports in Spain suggesting Barcelona have ended their pursuit of the Spaniard. Mundo Deportivo says the reigning La Liga champions are still keen on signing a new right-back, but are seeking a back-up for Sergi Roberto rather than a high-profile star like Bellerin.
Bellerin left La Masia to move to the Emirates Stadium in 2011, following in the footsteps of other Barcelona academy products such as Cesc Fabregas. Having since developed into one of the best full-backs in Europe, the 21-year-old was heavily linked with a return to the Nou Camp over the summer.
Mundo Deportivo said at the time Bellerin was top of Barcelona's list of potential Dani Alves replacements, following the veteran's departure to Juventus.
Sport later confirmed the Arsenal right-back was the Catalans' long-term target. However, reports went on to suggest that a move over the summer was unlikely, as the Gunners were demanding at least €40m (£33.6m, $45m) for their player.
Barcelona opted against signing a new right-back in the end, prioritising improvements in other parts of the field.
Speculation surrounding a future move increased in recent days when it emerged Aleix Vidal had asked to leave Barcelona in the current window, as the former Sevilla wing-back has struggled to adapt to the Nou Camp.
However, Mundo Deportivo now claims that despite Vidal's uncertain future at Barcelona, a move for Bellerin is off the table following Sergi Roberto's explosion into the first team. The Spaniard was originally a midfielder but has established himself at right-back since the end of last season, and was even called up for the recent internationals ahead of Bellerin.
Barcelona believe Roberto can serve as their right-back for the next decade, and thus a big-money move for Bellerin would be a poor investment.
However, this doesn't mean the end of the saga. With Vidal's position up in the air, Mundo Deportivo claims the club are still monitoring affordable understudies for Roberto. Monaco duo Adama Traore and Almany Toure have both been suggested as possible candidates.