Barcelona have made the signing of Arsenal full back Hector Bellerin their top priority for next summer’s transfer window.
The Spaniard left Barca to join Arsene Wenger’s side five years, but could become the latest in a long line to return to the Catalan giants after moving away.
The defender has become a first-team fixture at the Emirates Stadium and has made his international debut after coming through the feted La Masia academy system.
And speaking in Sport, Barca vice-president, Jordi Mestre confirmed that Bellerin could follow in the footsteps of Cesc Fabregas, Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba and Denis Suarez in returning to the Nou Camp.
‘We’ve already seen him as a Cule [Barcelona follower],’ Mestre said.
‘He’s a great player, there’s no doubt about that.
‘Wenger convinced him to move and promised him something which we couldn’t.
‘We could not promise him that within two years he would be playing in Dani Alves’ place.’
With Alves leaving for Juventus in the summer, Sergi Roberto has become first-choice right back for the La Liga champions. And with Barca eager to find a long-term replacement for the Brazilian, the likelihood of a move for Bellerin materialising increased as Mestre hailed the impact of youngsters who have returned to the Nou Camp.
‘In many cases it’s good that they leave to develop as players and then return [with that experience],’ he added.
‘Look at the cases of Cesc, [Gerard] Pique, [Jordi] Alba and Denis Suarez… I hope the same thing will happen with [Sergi] Samper too.
‘It’s positive that [these players] get minutes at other clubs.
‘It is a dynamic which has always provided good results for players that carry the Barca DNA in their blood.’