Arsenal Transfer News: Juventus Eye Hector Bellerin Amid Exit Rumours

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistMarch 2, 2018

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 22: Hector Bellerin of Arsenal applauds during UEFA Europa League Round of 32 match between Arsenal and Ostersunds FK at the Emirates Stadium on February 22, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)
Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Hector Bellerin is reportedly contemplating his future at the Emirates Stadium, and Juventus will try to take advantage by launching a summer move for the right-back, according to the latest rumours.

Per the Guardian's David Hytner, the Bianconeri have long been interested in the speedster and tried to land him last summer. Barcelona also tried their luck with an offer worth €70 million (roughly £62 million) in total, including wages, but the Gunners had no interest in selling.

Raul Sanllehi, Arsenal's head of player negotiations, "knows the player wants a new challenge, having stagnated at the Emirates," per Hytner. 

Things could be different this time around after a difficult spell for both the club and player―the report suggested a fee of £45 million could be enough to seal the deal.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 01:  Leroy Sane of Manchester City is challenged by Hector Bellerin during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester City at Emirates Stadium on March 1, 2018 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

The 22-year-old was once regarded as the top right-back prospect in the world, but his career has stagnated in the past two seasons. He's still overly reliant on his athleticism and physical gifts, and his inconsistent form has seen him fall well behind his compatriots in the Spain national team pecking order.

He only made the Euro 2016 tournament as a reserve following an injury to Real Madrid's Dani Carvajal, and since then he's been passed by Real Sociedad's talented youngster Alvaro Odriozola as well. Bellerin appears in desperate need of a change of scenery, opening the door for a summer exit.

Arsenal have worked hard to keep him at the club, but his poor form has seen Bellerin's status fall.

The fans in particular have turned on the Spaniard, and certain football writers have lost hope as well:

There are plenty who still have his back, though:

Bellerin's value appears to be at an all-time low, which is where Juventus come into play. The Italians generally don't have the financial might to steal the Premier League's top players, but they're experts at spotting bargains in the transfer market and investing in players at the right time.

Their success with free transfers is well-documented, but they've also done well with high-upside players who carry risk. The likes of Andrea Barzagli, Carlos Tevez and Leonardo Bonucci all exceeded expectations after joining the Bianconeri.

The presence of Wojciech Szczesny likely also wouldn't hurt their chances―the former Arsenal man revitalised his career in Italy and has seen plenty of minutes in rotation with Gianluigi Buffon this season. He seems perfectly happy in Turin and could give the Serie A giants an edge in negotiations.

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 10: Hector Bellerin of Arsenal has a shot during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal at Wembley Stadium on February 10, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Juventus are expected to add a right-back in the summer, as Stephan Lichtsteiner has lost a step, Benedikt Howedes can't stay healthy and Mattia De Sciglio is a great depth option but no elite starter.

They sold Pol Lirola to Sassuolo in January, although it is believed they retain a buy-back clause for the Spanish talent, per Gianluca Di Marzio.

The Bianconeri likely won't push for a move unless they find the value they seek, and convincing Arsenal to sell when Bellerin's value is low won't be easy. But an exit this summer seems more likely than it has in previous years, and these rumours should come as no surprise.  

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