Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes Hector Bellerin's new contract which will keep him at the club until 2023 proves they can keep their best player. The 21-year-old has agreed a new long term contract with the north Londoners after being constantly linked with a return to Barcelona.
According to The Evening Standard, Bellerin has put pen to paper on a fresh six-and-a-half year deal, with his wages doubling to £100,000-a-week amid interest from Catalonia and Manchester City. The Spain international, who is currently nursing an ankle injury, has been first choice for the Gunners for the last two campaigns and has developed into one of the most revered full-backs in the Premier League – last season being included in the PFA Team of the Year.
Previously, Arsenal have had their hands tied while their best players have departed with Thierry Henry, Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie having all moved on while the club attempted to balance the booked following their move to The Emirates Stadium in 2006. But Wenger says that era is firmly over and has jokingly challenged the media to dream up other players who may wish to leave the club.
"It sends out that the media will have to find a different name of somebody who wants to leave the club," he told reporters at Arsenal's pre-match press conference ahead of the Champions League clash with Paris Saint Germain. "Overall it shows that the players that we have educated here are committed and that is what you want.
"When you give chances you educate young boys, you give them a chance to play in the first team. You want as well them to commit to the club and that is an important quality that we have at this club. So we are very happy when they commit."
Sport reported that Arsenal were demanding €40m (£34.1m, $42.5m) from Barcelona for Bellerin, who spent eight years at the club before moving to English football in 2011. The publication added that the La Liga champions were ready to abandon plans to sign the right-back, such were the financial demands being imposed upon them.