Villarreal are looking to bring in Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin, who was ‘very sad’ when Unai Emery was sacked by Arsenal in November 2019.
SkySport journalist Gianluca Di Marzio has claimed that Emery is keen on bringing in the 26-year-old this summer, and Di Marzio’s report confirms that the defender will be departing north London this summer.
Bellerin has attracted interest from Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Real Betis in the past, but the defender’s previous relationship with his compatriot could make Villarreal his ideal destination.
The Arsenal man took to Instagram to speak on Emery’s sacking at the time: “I’m very sad to see @unaiemery_ and his staff go.
“Thank you so much for your trust and lessons in this time. You’ve helped me grow as a man through a tough period with my injury. Wish you all the best.”
Bellerin made 35 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners this season, struggling to stamp his authority on the full-back position in a difficult campaign.
Teammate Granit Xhaka, who has been a controversial figure at the club in recent times, could link up with new Roma boss Jose Mourinho.
Club legend Sol Campbell is keen to see Arsenal hang onto the duo, citing a lack of experienced players at the north London club.
Campbell told Ladbrokes: “Who is going to change Arsenal Football Club? I think they need to have a look around the place at some of the senior players there. Do they keep a couple of players around to help bring on the youngsters?
“You can’t just go and get rid of all of your experienced players. I see the likes of Hector Bellerin and Granit Xhaka being linked with moves away but both have been a core part of that team for some time now.
“You don’t want to sever ties completely with players like that because otherwise there’ll be no one around who can teach new signings and younger players the ways of the club.
“Hector [Bellerin] has been a fantastic player for Arsenal, [Granit] Xhaka has been great as well. If it’s a matter of keeping people around for another year or so, you may as well keep hold of those two as they know the club inside out.
“If you start taking too many of those names out, who is going to teach the youngsters what it means to play for Arsenal? I personally think Bellerin and Xhaka will stay on for another year.”