According to reports coming from Spain this week Barcelona have allegedly been given the green light ahead of a potential move for Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin.
Spanish outlet Marca had reported earlier in the week that the European giants have made signing the 22-year-old a big priority and it seems that Barcelona have significantly stepped up their interest.
Radio statio RAC 1 now claim that Bellerin has agreed personal terms at the Nou Camp and will head to North London to hold talks with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger ahead of finalising a move away.
Is Bellerin the right fit for Barcelona?
Frighteningly quick, agile and with the mentality of a right-winger at times, there’s little doubt that Hector Bellerin is the stereotypical type of player that’s graced the Nou Camp pitch in recent times.
Always a useful outlet on the overlap, the Spanish international has an innate knowledge of how to open up a defence and create space for his midfielders to make late runs from deep into the penalty area.
In a sense he’s almost a parallel with Jordi Alba on the left-hand side; happy to commit to the attack when given a chance, he also possesses speed to recover in defence and snuff out impending danger.
But it is his education and development as a fully-fledged defender at the Emirates that will hold him in good stead to challenge for a first-team spot at the Nou Camp, as he has grown a stubborn discipline that’s been instilled in him by the Arsenal boss to evaluate a defensive situation and deal with it well.
Bellerin rarely dives in to a challenge too early, assessing a one-on-one scenario intelligently, and despite having the instinct to attack, he knows not to over-do it in fear of being exploited in defence.
Likewise, when potentially facing some tricky wingers in La Liga – most notably the potency of Real Madrid’s options – he has the turn of pace required to stick with his man in his own third of the field.
Arsene Wenger’s 3-4-3 experiment, although it left Bellerin on the side-lines at times, will only benefit the Spaniard ahead of a move; his role at Barcelona could prove be extremely similar to a right wing-back.
During his previous spell at the Blaugrana – prior to joining Arsenal – he even admitted that he was trialed as more of a winger, and now, after Wenger’s experiment, he’s capable of offering a lot more.
Reports in The Sun, who build on RAC 1’s claims, suggest that the 22-year-old’s family have already moved back to Barcelona ahead of a deal being completed, and it looks like it’s now simply a case of the two clubs negotiating a transfer fee.