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Chelsea are set to rival Manchester United and Barcelona in the race to sign Hector Bellerin from Arsenal, according to reports. Spanish full back Bellerin has been a mainstay in Arsenal’s team over the past five years but he is expected to leave the Emirates this summer. The 23-year-old has endured a mixed season, retaining his place in the first-team but failing to make a significant impact as the Gunners have struggled through a difficult campaign.
Arsenal need to sell players this summer to provide their new manager with funds to spend in the transfer window and Bellerin will command a fee of over £40million. Juventus, Barcelona and Manchester United have been repeatedly linked with a move for Bellerin but Sport say Chelsea are also interested in securing his services. Antonio Conte looks set to leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the season but club officials are confident Bellerin can be an important player for the Italian’s successor.
Asked about the speculation surrounding Bellerin earlier in the year, agent Albert Botines told Radio Crc: ‘There have been contacts for Bellerin. ‘He is fine and he has just renewed and it is tough to negotiate because he’s doing very well for the team. ‘Napoli is a club I know. I am a friend of Giuntoli. Its a great club and its demonstrating it. ‘I follow Napoli a lot and is fighting against a team like Juventus.’
Arsenal legend Ray Parlour, meanwhile, has urged his former club to keep hold of Bellerin this summer. He told takSPORT: ‘I’d be amazed if Arsenal sold Bellerin. He’s still a young player, he’s still learning and he wants to learn ‘I still think defensively he has to get better, but he can get better.’