Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin is supposedly ready to give up the rest of his salary in order to seal a permanent move to Real Betis this summer.The 27-year-old has been on the books in North London since 2011 after leaving Barcelona’s youth academy, and he became Arsene Wenger’s first-choice right-back from a young age.
However, Bellerin soon fell out of favour under Mikel Arteta due to injury woes and dipped form, which led him to return to his homeland with Real Betis for the 2021/22 season.
Bellerin managed five assists in 32 games for Manuel Pellegrini’s side in all competitions last season, helping the Verdiblancos finish fifth and qualify for the group stage of the Europa League.
The Spaniard’s move to Betis was a straight loan with no option or obligation to buy, and as things stand he is due to be a part of Arteta’s squad for pre-season.
Bellerin only has 12 months left to run on his deal in North London, and he is supposedly willing to take drastic measures to end his 11-year spell at the Emirates Stadium.
According to the Mirror, Bellerin is willing to forgo the entirety of his £100k-a-week salary for next season in order to leave, which would see him miss out on a total of £5.7m.
However, Arsenal are said to be holding out for a fee for the right-back – who was a teammate of Arteta’s before his compatriot’s retirement in 2016 – and have no intention of ripping up his deal.
The Gunners reportedly want £8.5m to sanction Bellerin’s exit and are determined to avoid another high-profile contract termination, which has seen numerous players walk out of the door for nothing in recent memory.
Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Sead Kolasinac and Sokratis are among those who have left the Gunners for nothing after being frozen out of the squad and cancelling their contracts early.
Since coming through the club’s youth academy, Bellerin has scored nine goals and provided 29 assists in 239 games for Arsenal in all competitions under three different managers.
The Spain international has won three FA Cups and three Community Shield crowns in North London, and he also became Copa del Rey champion with Betis last term.
Arsenal currently have Takehiro Tomiyasu and Cedric Soares battling it out for the right-back spot, while Brooke Norton-Cuffy could be given the chance to prove himself in pre-season.
William Saliba’s return from Marseille will also help to bolster Arsenal’s backline, and a move for Ajax centre-back Lisandro Martinez has also been mooted in recent days.
On the opposite side of the defence, Nuno Tavares has allegedly emerged as a transfer target for Atalanta BC, who will need to pay in excess of £30m to sign the 22-year-old.