Paris Saint-Germain have made their first significant move of the transfer window by starting talks with Arsenal for defender Hector Bellerin.
The Spaniard has been at Arsenal since 2011 when he joined from the famous Barcelona academy, and has made over 200 appearances for the Gunners in that time. He is the first choice at right-back and right wing-back for Mikel Arteta right now but it’s said to be a situation where everyone is open to all outcomes.
PSG are reportedly ready to make an opening bid of around £25million for Bellerin and while that is likely to be rejected as an opening offer, there is ongoing dialogue between the parties with a confidence that a compromise will be found swiftly.
The player is said to be open to the idea of a new challenge in Europe, with PSG looking to replace Thomas Meunier whose contract expired at the end of last season. Bellerin would be offered the chance to become first-choice right-back at the club to compete with Thilo Kehrer and play alongside the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, Angel Di Maria and Marco Verratti.
If a deal could be agreed between the two clubs, it’s expected that Ainsley Maitland-Niles would become the first choice instead of moving to Wolves with Portuguese new signing Cedric Soares acting as back-up. The club are currently in a position where they need to buy to sell, and they still want to sign a midfielder.
They have been strongly linked with Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid and there have been discussions around Houssem Aouar, in addition to the extension of the loan of Dani Ceballos from Real Madrid.
Bellerin’s career at Arsenal has been a rollercoaster. He broke into the side as a youngster with blistering pace and excellent attacking instincts, but clear deficiencies defensively. As he gained experience though, his attacking became less dynamic and his defending barely improved. He suffered a serious knee injury in February 2019 against Chelsea but seems to have now fully recovered after spending over nine months on the sidelines.
Once a top prospect in world football, he’s now a replaceable piece of a puzzle.