Barcelona have reportedly turned down a €35m (£30.7m, $39.7m) offer for Sergi Roberto amid attempts to sign Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin. Mundo Deportivo claims that the La Liga giants insist the Spain international is not for sale with new manager Ernesto Valverde considering him a key member of his plans ahead of the upcoming 2017-2018 campaign.
Roberto progressed through the youth ranks of the Barcelona academy as a promising midfielder. However, he has established himself as the first-choice right-back during the last campaign under Luis Enrique following the departure of Dani Alves to Juventus.
The 25-year-old enjoyed an impressive start to the season in his new role, even being chosen by Spain ahead of Bellerin himself to back-up Dani Carvajal. However, the Spaniard struggled to cope with the demands of the position in some big games due to his lack of pace.
Barcelona thus decided to revive their interest in luring Bellerin back to the Nou Camp with the intention of the Arsenal star covering the position in the coming 2017-2018 season.
But Mundo Deportivo says that Barcelona have made it clear that Roberto is not for sale after Valverde rejected a €35m offer from a big European club to lure him away from the Nou Camp. The Spanish publication says that Valverde plans to use Roberto in the middle of the park, serving as back-up for Sergio Busquets.
However, Mundo Deportivo adds that the signing of a right-back is "not guaranteed" and consequently is it not completely ruled out that he could return to the back four next season.
This news comes after reports in England claimed that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had told Bellerin that he is not going to facilitate his return to the Nou Camp. Barcelona are still expected to continue their pursuit but they may need to look somewhere else or keep their faith in Roberto if Arsenal remain stubborn.