Arsenal Transfer News: Latest Rumours on Hector Bellerin and Mauro Icardi

Christopher SimpsonFeatured ColumnistOctober 10, 2016

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 28: Hector Bellerin of Arsenal during the Champions League match between Arsenal and FC Basel at The Emirates Stadium on September 28, 2016 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mitchell Gunn/Getty Images)
Mitchell Gunn/Getty Images

Arsenal are reportedly lining up "new bumper deals" for rising stars Hector Bellerin and Alex Iwobi, with Barcelona and Manchester City reportedly interested in the former.

According to an exclusive from Goal's Chris Wheatley, the Gunners are hoping to secure them for the long term with improved terms.

An extended deal will be particularly useful in Bellerin's case, as Barca are expected to renew their interest in him next summer, while City are said to have made enquiries into signing him this year and "believe the combination of [manager] Pep Guardiola and former Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta could play a huge part in eventually bringing him" to the club.

The Spaniard has emerged as one of the most exciting young prospects in Europe over the last two seasons, and Football Espana's Yousef Teclab believes he'd benefit from remaining at the Emirates Stadium:

Bellerin possesses great pace and uses it well to beat players regularly, per WhoScored.com:

The 21-year-old could do with improving his final ball, though, as according to Squawka, he has created just seven chances so far this season and made only 22 in the entirety of the last campaign.

Bellerin's defending is steadily getting better, and he's only set to improve as a player in the coming years. Arsenal have a real star on their hands, so getting him to sign a new deal is vital.

As for Iwobi, he may not have caught the eye of Barcelona yet, but he's impressing in his own right, per Squawka Football:

Tying him down will also be a wise move—if he continues playing as he is, he'll start attracting attention from other clubs, too.

Meanwhile, it has been revealed that Arsenal were not the only ones to miss out on Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi in the summerJuventus, Paris Saint-Germain, Napoli and Tottenham Hotspur also competed for his signature.

Antonio Calanni/Associated Press

According to James Gray of the Express, the Gunners pursued him throughout the summer but failed to land him. 

Icardi's wife and agent, Wanda Nara, told Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t Calciomercato, via Gray) of the other clubs interested in him: "[Inter sporting director] Piero Ausilio had asked me to take any offers from clubs to him, so I went with those of PSG, Napoli and Juventus. There was Tottenham too but they went directly to Piero."

She also revealed Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have pursued him in the past. The prolific striker recently signed a lengthy new deal at Inter, per the UEFA Europa League:

Icardi is perhaps the most clinical striker in Serie A, hampered only by a lack of creativity in Inter's team that prevents him from reaching goal tallies to rival Europe's other top centre-forwards. At a club like Arsenal, he would thrive off the ammunition he'd receive from his team-mates.

Despite the new deal and his desire to remain at the San Siro for the duration of his career, he admitted there is still the possibility of him leaving, per Sky Sports (h/t EFE, via Sport): "I can't promise that I will stay for life at Inter, in football you never know."

Arsenal would be wise to target him again if he does leave, but it seems they'll face great competition for his signature.

Whomever does land him in that instance will have pulled off a significant coup and added a real cutting edge to their side.