Arsenal full-back Hector Bellerin has held two meetings with manager Arsene Wenger in an effort to force through a return to Barcelona. The Spain international is seemingly desperate to re-join the Catalan giants, where his football education began between 2003 and 2011.
The 22-year-old has spent the last six years at The Emirates Stadium where he has developed into one of the best right-backs in Europe. However, Ernesto Valverde has no clear option in that position heading into the new season and Bellerin has long been identified as the player to fill the void.
Barcelona have struggled to identify a permanent successor to Dani Alves on the right-side of their defence since they allowed the Brazil international to leave last summer. Injury to Aleix Vidal forced the club to deploy Sergi Roberto out of position during the twilight of the last campaign but there is uncertainty over whether either player is good enough for the position on a full-time basis.
Mundo Deportivo understand that since returning from the Under-21 European Championships with Poland, where Spain reached the final, Bellerin has held two meetings with Wenger to discuss his future. In both conversations he asked the Frenchman to be allowed to leave north London. He also reiterated his respect and appreciation of Arsenal's role in his development which has seen him become the latest player to progress through the academy and into the first team.
But Wenger was steadfast in his approach and insisted to Bellerin on both occasions that he has no plans to allow him to depart, for any price. The Arsenal boss believes Bellerin will play a central role in the club's future and is unwilling to allow him to join the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Thierry Henry in swapping the 13-time FA Cup winners for Barcelona.
It would be fair to say however that Barcelona are not fully committed to signing Bellerin and will not go above their own valuation of €30m. Arsenal's demands are likely to be higher, with Bellerin having a contract with the north Londoners until 2022.
Attempts to keep Bellerin is the latest transfer saga which has engulfed Arsenal this summer. They remain in the dark over the future of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil - each of whom have entered the final 12 months of their respective contracts - while they are also trying to improve their squad with Monaco's Thomas Lemar among those on their radar.