Barcelona Transfer News: Hector Bellerin Interest Ended Amid Rumours

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistMarch 8, 2018

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 22: Hector Bellerin of Arsenal applauds during UEFA Europa League Round of 32 match between Arsenal and Ostersunds FK at the Emirates Stadium on February 22, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)
Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Barcelona have reportedly ended their interest in re-signing Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin after being satisfied with the progression of summer signing Nelson Semedo.

David Wright of the Daily Star cited a report from Catalan newspaper Mundo Deportivo, which said Barca have been impressed with Semedo's maiden season at the Camp Nou and thus will not revive interest in Bellerin.

Semedo moved to Catalonia from Benfica last summer for £30 million, and despite being in and out of the team, he's managed to rack up 26 appearances and was showing his best form prior to a recent injury.

Bellerin left Barcelona for north London in 2011, having spent eight years developing in the Blaugrana's youth academy. 

Sport recently reported on his frustration with life at the north London club, per Sport Witness:

Right-back has been a key area of recruitment for Barcelona since before Dani Alves' departure in 2016, and the promise shown this season by Semedo, 24, looks to have some at the club convinced they have a long-term solution. 

The Portuguese defender is currently on the sidelines for Barca after suffering a hamstring injury in late February, per Cristina Perez of Sport, although the club have Sergi Roberto as a capable alternative in the meantime.

Converted midfielder Roberto has done a fine job of filling in on the right side of defence during the transition period after Alves' exit, and it looks as though the opportunity for Bellerin to fill that vacancy may have now passed.

Bellerin was dropped by manager Arsene Wenger prior to Sunday's 2-1 defeat at Brighton & Hove Albion, but the Spaniard was an omnipresent figure for the Gunners before that omission, per OptaJoe:

Tensions between the 22-year-old and some sections of the Emirates Stadium fanbase are stretched after Bellerin's recent appearance at the Oxford Union, where he criticised the work of supporter channel ArsenalFanTV, per Metro.

That clash of opinions off the pitch happens to have coincided with a dip in form on the pitch, and ESPN FC's Mattias Karen sympathised with Bellerin after recent back-to-back run-ins with Manchester City star Leroy Sane:

In Roberto and Semedo, Barcelona have one option who has grown up at the club and is a safe pair of hands, while the potential upside possessed by the more attacking Portugal international could yield dividends in future.

Bellerin may be motivated to leave the Emirates if reports prove true, but it doesn't look as though Barca will be the team to offer a possible route out of north London.

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