Hector Bellerin has a verbal agreement with Mikel Arteta which may open the door for him to depart Arsenal this summer, according to reports.
The right-back’s future has been plunged into uncertainty since transfer links with Paris Saint-Germain re-emerged earlier this week.
Bellerin, 25, has been on the Gunners’ books for almost a decade, making 232 senior appearances, and serves as the club’s vice captain.
But he came close to leaving the Emirates last year and will face another career decision at the end of this season.
Mikel Arteta played a vital role in convincing his fellow Spaniard and former teammate to stay in the last summer transfer window.
PSG and Barcelona were ready to swoop for Bellerin, with the French club rumoured to have tabled a £30million bid.
But after clinching the FA Cup, Arteta held heart-to-heart talks with his compatriot and convinced him to stay in north London.
As part of this conversation, ESPN claims it was agreed Arsenal chiefs would consider Bellerin’s future at the end of the current season.
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The player is yet to hold new talks with the Gunners hierarchy or Arteta, but there is a general sense that this summer may be the best time for him to depart.
Bellerin will have two years remaining on his deal, meaning Arsenal will be able to sell him for a fee reflective of his market value.
That being said, it remains to be seen if clubs will come calling for the Spain international.
PSG are expected to make their loan deal for Roma right-back Alessandro Florenzi permanent this summer for a fee of €9million (£7.8m).
Meanwhile, Barcelona – where Bellerin came through the academy ranks – signed Sergino Dest for £23.8million last October.
As such, it is not unfeasible for Arsenal to hold onto Bellerin, who is a popular figure and helped agree a squad-wide wage cut last year as the club’s Professional Footballers’ Association representative.
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