Defender Hector Bellerin is unlikely to remain an Arsenal player beyond this summer, according to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano.
Bellerin, 27, has been on the Gunners books for a decade and made 239 senior appearances for the club. However, his game time diminished in 2018-2019 and the following season, leading to a loan stint with Real Betis. The Spain international returned to his homeland in August last year and has enjoyed a decent campaign in LaLiga.
The Barcelona-born ace has made 22 starts among 23 top-flight appearances, with 32 outings in all competitions. Betis were impressed with his performances, leading club president Angel Haro to say “hopefully we cross paths again”.
It remains to be seen if the man with four La Roja caps returns to Estadio Benito Villamarin. He will be back at the Emirates at the conclusion of his loan spell.
But Romano does not think he will kick a ball for Mikel Arteta’s side next term.
“His loan deal is expiring, so at the moment yes (he will return to Arsenal),” he told Gazzetta dello FIVE. “But I don’t see him staying, honestly.”
Bellerin’s last couple of years with Arsenal saw plenty of speculation about his future. He was heavily linked with a move to Italian side Inter last summer.
However, the Serie A giants wanted a loan deal, with the north Londoners looking for a permanent transfer.
Nothing materialised before the temporary switch to Betis but the full-back’s future is once again on the line.
Bellerin one of many Arsenal exits
Arsenal have enjoyed an excellent campaign by recent standards and still have a chance to finish in the top four.
Hector Bellerin wants permanent Real Betis move from Arsenal
Arsenal right back Hector Bellerin wants to make his loan move to Real Betis permanent
However, back-to-back Premier League defeats to Tottenham and Newcastle mean a Champions League berth is out of their hands.
They must beat Everton at home on Sunday and hope Spurs lose to relegated Norwich at Carrow Road. But it is still an improvement on last season’s eighth-placed finish, with Europa League football already secured.
There will be players leaving in the off-season, with the likes of Alexandre Lacazette set to depart. Arteta has been tipped to bring in a new striker and midfielder but there may be others on the radar as well.
It seems likely that Bellerin will be jettisoned despite his upturn in fortunes back in Spain. But he has yet to decide on his future and could look to impress his manager back in pre-season training.