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06th Jun 2017

Hector Bellerin’s latest comments do absolutely nothing to silence talk of a Barcelona return

It's happening again...

Simon Lloyd

With no Champions League football on offer for Arsenal next season, it was inevitable that a few of their players would be linked with moves elsewhere this summer.

Having failed to agree new deals at the club, Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Özil are perhaps most likely to depart in the coming weeks, but it now seems Hector Bellerin is also open to a move away, too.

Bellerin, who only penned a new deal with the club during last season, has repeatedly been linked with a return to hometown club, Barcelona. Although his recently-inked Arsenal deal might have silenced such talk for a while, the right back’s latest comments will breathe new life into the speculation.

Speaking to Mundo Deportivothe 22-year-old admitted that “a lot can happen” over the course of the summer, adding that interest from Barca – a club which he represented as a youngster – makes him “happy”.

Asked if a move back to Nou Camp would happen if left up to him, Bellerin said: “It’s not something you think about when you leave, because you don’t know how things will go.

“I was lucky enough to take a chance on Arsenal. Things have gone well and now hearing this type of news about Barca is something which makes me happy, but it doesn’t depend on me.

“It’s nice to know of interest from a club like Barca, the club where I grew up from a young age. For the moment I don’t know anything, I’m an Arsenal player and we will see what happens.”

In a separate interview given to Diario Sport, Bellerin also admitted that the lack of Champions League football next season could have an impact on any decision to stay in London or return to Spain.

“Everyone who has played in the Champions League wants to get back to playing in it again,” he said. “We all want to be at the top level. To not play in the Champions League is a disappointment, something negative. It’s not ideal and it could condition [my plans] a little, yes.”

Barcelona are thought to be interested in a move for Bellerin after failing to replace Dani Alves following his departure to Juventus a year ago.