Premier League • England

Arsenal transfer news: Surprise Serie A deal in play after separate move hands Edu lucrative opening

Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin

Arsenal may have found a suitor who is actually willing to pay for Hector Bellerin after an imminent transfer opened up a new avenue, per a report.

The Gunners have bought well this summer, specifically with Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko. However, another big plus has come in the form of William Saliba who after being made to wait three years, is finally showing English audiences what he is capable of.

Saliba has slotted straight in at centre-back, pushing Ben White onto the right side to cover for Takehiro Tomiyasu.

The Japan international may yet re-take the right-back slot once he regains full fitness. However, White is unlikely to displace Saliba, meaning he’ll then double up as cover at full-back.

Arsenal also have Cedric Soares on the books, meaning forgotten man Hector Bellerin has no place in north London.

The Spaniard, 27, spent last season back in Spain while on loan at Real Betis. Bellerin thrived by all accounts and played his part in helping Betis lift the Copa del Rey.

Bellerin is once again on the chopping block after returning to the Emirates over the summer. However, with just one year left on his contract, the onus is on Arsenal to find a buyer before he leaves for free.

Talk of a return to LaLiga has emerged. However, that has mainly centred around Bellerin first having his Arsenal deal mutually terminated. That would then allow him to join a Spanish club as a free agent.

Serie A awaits for Bellerin?

However, according to Sky Italia, a new avenue is opening up in Serie A.

They report Udinese want to sign Bellerin given current right-back, Brandon Soppy, is poised to join Atalanta.

Udinese are targeting experience and Bellerin brings that in abundance. In further good news for Arsenal and sporting director Edu, Football Italia state Udinese may even be prepared to pay a small transfer fee.

Even if the sums in play are small, that scenario would be more beneficial than terminating Bellerin’s contract.

Who else could leave Arsenal?

Aside from Bellerin, Arsenal are looking to offload academy graduate pair, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Reiss Nelson.

Football London reported Arsenal are open to offers if permanent bids arrive for the midfield pair.

They were both loaned out last season, though are now in the final years of their contracts, making another loan departure a pointless venture.

Elsewhere, £72m record signing Nicolas Pepe may return to Ligue 1 with Nice.

FootMercato detailed their interest in a loan capacity. Pepe’s contract expires in 2024, meaning Arsenal would probably attempt to include an option or obligation to buy if taking that route.