Atletico Madrid, Real Betis and Sevilla are understood to have joined the race to sign Hector Bellerin from Arsenal during the next transfer window, Spanish outlet La Razon claims.
Bellerin has had a tough 18 months where he has been hampered by injuries and in the current season, he has been restricted to only 14 appearances with the first team.
According to La Razon, manager Mikel Arteta is planning to ‘take a bet’ on Cedric Soares as the first-choice right-back and that could contribute to Bellerin heading through the exit door.
Atletico, Betis and Sevilla have been credited with an interest in the former La Masia youngster. Diego Simeone’s side are understood to have identified Bellerin as a competitor for Kieran Trippier.
On the other hand, Betis and Sevilla are eyeing replacements for Emerson and Jesus Navas respectively. The former of those players is said to be attracting interest from Barcelona.
Bellerin has struggled for form over the past couple of years but he has still remained a regular starter on the right side of the defence when he has been deemed fit.
As such, it appears unlikely that Arteta will consider the prospect of selling him to keep hold of Soares, who has yet to make his competitive debut for the club.
The Portuguese arrived on a short-term loan from Southampton in January but he was carrying a knee injury, and barely spent time in full training before the league’s suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Soares could, of course, be handed the chance to impress when the season resumes but selling Bellerin should not be on the agenda unless the 28-year-old makes a significant impact.
Bellerin has more than three years remaining on his deal with the club. Soares, meanwhile, will be available on a free transfer with his Saints contract expiring during the summer.