Barcelona have reportedly identified Feyenoord right-back Rick Karsdorp as an alternative to Hector Bellerin if Arsenal refuse to negotiate the Span departure of the Spaniard. However, Mundo Deportivo claims the Catalans face stiff competition for the Netherlands international as Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Napoli and the Gunners are also closely monitoring his situation.
The La Liga giants have earmarked the signing of a right-back as the top priority ahead of the 2017-18 season. Aleix Vidal was recently ruled out for around five months with a serious ankle injury while the versatile Sergi Roberto has struggled to fill the gap left by the summer departure of Dani Alves to Juventus.
Valencia wing-back Joao Cancelo was said to be the club's top target for the coming summer transfer window, but recent reports claimed the club have decided to turn their attention elsewhere after the Portuguese star endured an inconsistent season at Mestalla.
Mundo Deportivo last week revealed Bellerin had emerged as the new priority, although Barcelona were previously heavily linked with the Arsenal right-back during last summer's transfer window. The 21-year-old grew up at La Masia before joining Arsenal in 2011 and has since revealed himself to be a perfect fit for the offensive style of the La Liga giants.
He committed his long-term future to Arsenal earlier in November but Mundo Deportivo added last week that he still could consider a return to Barcelona – especially if Arsene Wenger quits the Emirates Stadium at the end of the season.
The Catalan publication now insists that "Bellerin remains the top target but the club have lined up a number of alternatives if Arsenal refuse to let the Spaniard go, with Feyenoord's Karsdorp being in the pole position".
Karsdorp, 22, is also a very attacking right-back, a fact he proved last season when grabbing 10 assists in 36 appearances for the Eredivisie side.
Furthermore, Mundo Deportivo reports that former Barcelona and Arsenal left-back Giovanni van Bronckhorst has provided good reports to Barcelona over the right-back as he is currently the manager of Feyenoord.
However, the Spanish publication suggests that a deal for the Netherlands international wouldn't be simple either as United, Bayern, Napoli and Arsenal they are also tracking his development. However, they suggest the Gunners will only try to sign him if Bellerin leaves the Emirates Stadium to join either Barcelona or Manchester City.
Karsdorp has made 35 appearances for the current leaders of the Eredivisie and earlier in the season faced Manchester United twice as part of the Europa League group stage.