Hurdle cleared as Barcelona declaration inches Arsenal star closer to exit

Date published: Friday 11th September 2020 11:15 - Steve Pearson

Xhaka Bellerin TEAMtalk

The first step towards Barcelona launching a raid on Arsenal has been taken after the La Liga giant clarified their stance regarding Nelson Semedo.

Barcelona are in the midst of great change as seek to reclaim their place at the summit of European football.

Lionel Messi appears set to be staying put for now, but under new manager Ronald Koeman, sweeping changes are expected to continue.

One such player exit could come in the form of Portuguese right-back Nelson Semedo.

The 26-year-old has been a capable and consistent performer when required at The Nou Camp. Though that has never stopped rumours of an exit from persistently popping up.

Spanish publication Marca state that Semedo had previously been used as a ‘bargaining tool’ in order to entice the likes of Miralem Pjanic and Lautaro Martinez to the club.

With his exit ultimately not materialising, a U-turn had thought to have been undertaken over his future. But the article states that Barcelona ‘baulked at his wage demands’ that followed, and have since decided to put him up for sale once more.

With their intentions regarding Semedo set, attentions will now turn to finding a suitable replacement, with Arsenal full-back Hector Bellerin the obvious candidate.

Bellerin Arsenal TEAMtalk

A report from Spanish outlet Sport on Wednesday claimed that Arsenal would be willing to listen to offers between £18m and £23m for Bellerin.

Barcelona have apparently made their interest known and have been in touch with Edu over a possible transfer.

And now Mundo Deportivo (via Sport Witness) claims that Bellerin ‘would welcome’ a transfer to the Catalan giants this summer.

The report in Mundo Deportivo adds that Bellerin would much rather join Barcelona than PSG, who were recently reported to be close to signing Alessandro Florenzi instead.


Arsenal star could yet depart despite U-turn?

Maitland-Niles Arsenal TEAMtalk

Meanwhile, Ainsley Maitland-Niles could still leave Arsenal before the summer transfer deadline in his bid to play regular first-team football.

Maitland-Niles has managed to change the mind of boss Mikel Arteta after a series of impressive performances for the Gunners.

Arteta was believed to be open to offloading the star, with the board looking to raise funds for squad strengthening.

But his form is believed to have convinced Arteta to keep hold of the versatile 22-year-old, who was capped for England this week.

Read the full story here.


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