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Premier League • England

Hector Bellerin hatches plan to return to Spain with Arsenal exit hinging on ruthless Edu call

Arsenal full-back Hector Bellerin

Hector Bellerin is desperate to return to Real Betis and his agent is relying on a ruthless and uneconomical call from Arsenal chief Edu to make it happen, per reports.

The Spanish full-back, 27, spent last season in his homeland while on loan at Real Betis. Bellerin was a hit back in LaLiga and helped Betis lift the Copa del Rey – their first major honour aside from the Segunda Division title in 17 years.

He returned to north London over the summer, though per multiple reports, Betis want him back.

Bellerin only has one year remaining on his Gunners contract. As such, a permanent sale this summer would be Arsenal’s ideal scenario given he is no longer in Mikel Arteta’s plans.

Indeed, Takehiro Tomiyasu is Arteta’s No 1 in the position. Ben White shifted over to full-back for the opening day victory over Crystal Palace in the Japan international’s absence. Cedric Soares provides further cover.

A cut-price transfer to Betis thus makes all the sense in the world. However, according to both Sport Witness and the Sun, the Spanish side don’t want to pay.

Both outlets cite reports coming from Spain that claim Betis want Bellerin to terminate his contract with Arsenal so they can acquire him as a free agent.

They’re unable to match the salary he’s currently paid by Arsenal. Removing a transfer fee from the equation would allow them to focus all their meagre resources into the salary aspect to at least ensure the new wage comes close.

Another contract termination on the cards?

Both reports claim a meeting between Bellerin’s agent and Arsenal will aim to get the player’s contract mutually terminated.

Taking that route would mean Arsenal lose a saleable asset in the prime of his career for nothing. However, Gunners chief Edu has already shown he will take drastic action to rid the books of players he no longer deems useful.

Indeed, Edu has already been behind decisions to pay the likes of Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Sokratis, Shkodran Mustafi and Sead Kolasinac out of their contracts.

Whether Bellerin’s name is added to that list and a return to Betis materialises, only time will tell.

New-look backline has no place for Bellerin

Arsenal’s rearguard began the season with a clean sheet and didn’t even contain first-choice right-back, Tomiyasu.

Oleksandr Zinchenko made his debut at left-back with Kieran Tierney not fully fit. Mikel Arteta’s task of selecting between those two is unenviable and could result in the Ukranie international spending time in midfield as he does for his country.

William Saliba announced his arrival in the Premier League with a man of the match display at Selhurst Park. After three years of loan spells back in France, Saliba’s time to shine is now and there’s little doubt he’ll grasp it.

In Bellerin’s position of right-back, Arteta now has three options to call upon. White struggled against Wilfred Zaha while at full-back, though Zaha can make even the most accomplished of right-backs look foolish on his day.

With Saliba now in the centre-back mix, White could find himself covering at right-back more often than not. As such, Bellerin has no future in north London anymore.