Hector Bellerin has committed his long-term future to Arsenal – putting an end to the speculations linking him with Barcelona and Manchester City. The Spanish right-back is currently on the sidelines but has been rewarded for his impressive form with a new deal.
The 21-year-old full-back signed a new contract at the Emirates Stadium in the the summer of 2015 following his impressive breakthrough into Arsene Wenger's first team, having moved to North London in 2011 from the prolific Barcelona academy.
But Arsenal have been forced to offer a new improved contract after the Spanish starlet developed into arguably the most-coveted right-back around Europe.
Barcelona have been heavily linked with his services since the departure of Dani Alves to Juventus while Pep Guardiola was also said to be interested in luring him to Manchester City – as both Pablo Zabaleta and Bacary Sagna are seen as the wrong side of 30.
Sport reported, in the summer, that Barcelona had Bellerin on the top of their shopping list to replace Alves but decided to delay his arrival as Arsenal were demanding at least €40m (£34.1m, $42.5m) to part ways with the Spaniard.
Yet, earlier this month, the Spanish publication added that the Catalans had been forced to finally give up on Bellerin – ahead of the coming January transfer window – after the club had been informed the right-back was set to sign a new deal at his current outfit in the coming weeks.
Arsenal have now finally put an end to the saga after confirming an agreement for the Spaniard to continue at North London for the long-term. The Gunners have failed to disclose the details of the deal but Evening Standard claims that the new contract, worth £100, 000-a-week, will see Bellerin staying at North London until 2023.
"Hector Bellerin has signed a new long-term contract. The 21-year-old has developed into one of the Premier League's outstanding full-backs since breaking into the first team in 2014/15. Last season he firmly established his place in our back four, making 44 appearances in all competitions and creating nine goals – third only to Mesut Ozil and Alexis," Arsenal have confirmed.
Barcelona, meanwhile, are already looking for potential alternatives ahead of January amid reports linking them with the likes of Valencia's Joao Cancelo, Juventus's Stephan Lichtsteiner and Shakhtar Donetsk's Darijo Srna.