Recent reports claim that Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin has warned Lionel Messi over his possible transfer move to Barcelona’s bitter rivals, Real Madrid. The Galacticos will have to dish out £35m to pry the 22-year-old away from the Emirates.

However, the news is conflicting to Bellerin’s statements after signing a contract extension back in November 2016 – “I’m really, really happy and this club is my home right now. I’ve been here for more than five years now so I was really, really excited when the club told me that they wanted to extend my contract. I wasn’t thinking about anything else other than staying here and continuing my development here. This is where I’m happy. I’m just very grateful and pleased to have signed.”

Bellerin’s obligation to the Gunners is set to run till the summer of 2023 and Arsene Wenger would be hesitant to let go of the Spaniard especially without a quality replacement option. Alex Maitland-Niles is more of an offensive player who has been utilised on the left-wing-back position on a few occasions but the 20-year-old still has ways to go before he can feature on a regular basis.

Bellerin arrived in North London in the summer of 2011 and signed his first professional contract with Arsenal in July 2013. He worked his way through the youth ranks to flourish for the senior team after spending a season out on loan to Watford.

Bacary Sagna’s exit to Manchester City put Wenger on the spot with Karl Jenkinson struggling to match the standards of the Premier League. Bellerin met the challenge head on an ever since has been the first choice to appear in the backline and has racked up 147 appearances so far.

While Real Madrid’s struggles in the domestic competitions can be attributed to a lot of intangible things the right-back has been a cause for concern especially after witnessing the 3-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain last week.

Dani Carvajal has been on the wrong end of a heart infection which has affected his game this season. Zinedine Zidane has given 19-year-old Hakimi Achraf a few starts and while the teenager has been impressive, he is far too inexperienced to go up against elite competition on the European stage.

Neymar was practically left free to run at Nacho Fernandez in the Round of 16 Champions League game and the Madrid centre-back was strained to try to match the Brazilian’s pace. A player like Bellerin would have come handy in the second leg which is a must win for the Galacticos in order to keep their ambitions of winning the trophy alive.

However, with both Wenger and Bellerin happy at the club, Florentino Perez will have to scout for replacements and should consider FC Girona’s current right-back Maffeo whose parent club is Premier League leaders, Manchester City.

Former athlete. Now a journalist hoping to cover football no matter the league or country.