Arsenal are plotting a swap deal to sign Barcelona star Junior Firpo by offering Hector Bellerin, with an Emirates exit looming large.
According to Football.London, Arsenal are ready to open the door for Hector Bellerin to return to his boyhood club FC Barcelona. The right-back’s future at Emirates has become the hot-topic in north London this week as he looks to take the next step in his career.
Bellerin has been linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain in the past. The Gunners, however, have devised a plan to sign one of their desired targets in Junior Firpo this summer by offering Bellerin to FC Barcelona in a potential swap deal.
It appears both the players are not in the best books of their respective clubs, with Bellerin, in particular, failing to showcase the talents or the speed the onlookers were familiar with three-four years ago. The defender has also had issues with injuries as well as a lack of consistency.
All of these were contributing factors in Arsenal’s acquisition of Cedric Soares last year. And for the upcoming summer transfer window, Mikel Arteta is reportedly keeping a close eye on Max Aarons as his desired replacement for Bellerin.
Junior Firpo, meanwhile, was linked with a move away from Camp Nou last month, having featured in only five league matches this term. Barcelona, though, pulled the plug on a potential move due to fears over a lack of depth in the squad.
That said, Ronald Koeman could be tempted to cash in on Firpo in the summer as the Dutchman looks forward to a potential squad overhaul. And a direct swap between Firpo and Bellerin does make sense as the Catalans have lacked a proper competitor for the new signing Sergino Dest, often being forced to play Oscar Mingueza in that position.
As for Arsenal, Firpo’s addition to the team could help Arteta add some backup for the injury-prone Kieran Tierney at left-back. While the former Man City assistant manager may still have to find a replacement for Bellerin, the swap deal could provide better overall balance to the side, even from a financial perspective.
Indeed, Bellerin is currently among the highest-paid defenders in the Premier League. So his potential departure should help Arsenal balance the books, although, on that note, it is imperative that the right-back lowers his wage department at Barcelona as the Catalan giants have also struggled financially in the aftermath of the pandemic.