Hector Bellerin only arrived at Barcelona in September on a free transfer but looks to be heading away from the Camp Nou after just five months with Xavi’s side.
The full-back is “close” to agreeing a loan move to Portugese side Sporting, as reported by David Ornstein at The Athletic. Bellerin will replace Pedro Porro who has moved to Premier League side Tottenham.
Bellerin signed a one-year deal when he arrived at Barcelona but has barely featured in 2022-23. The right-back has made just 1 La Liga start and has managed a total of 141 minutes in Spain’s top flight.
The defender is actually in his second spell with Barcelona. Bellerin came through the club’s famed La Masia academy but left in 2011 to move to Premier League side Arsenal.
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Who Will Replace Bellerin?
Xavi is hardly blessed for other options at right-back aside from versatile veteran Sergi Roberto. However, he has preferred to use center-backs Ronald Araujo and Jules Kounde on the flank this season than turn to Bellerin.
Kounde appears to be Xavi’s preferred choice in the position currently and is part of a backline that has the best record in Europe. Barcelona have kept 14 clean sheets from 18 games and conceded just 6 league goals this season.
Bellerin will be the second player to depart Barcelona in the January transfer window. The Catalans have already waved goodbye to Memphis Depay, who has joined La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid.
The club will not sign a replacement in the January window but could look for reinforcements in the summer transfer window. Girona’s Arnau Martinez has emerged as a target and Xavi has already advised the club to go for the youngster.
Bellerin Departure Good News For Gavi & Araujo?
The departure of Bellerin could spell good news for Barcelona youngsters Gavi and Ronald Araujo. Both players signed new contract extensions with the club earlier this season but they have not yet been registered with La Liga.
Bellerin’s exit, coupled with Depay’s departure and Gerard Pique’s retirement, could now mean there is enough financial wiggle room for Barcelona to finally register the two contract extensions, as reported by Mundo Deportivo.
Barcelona sporting director Mateu Alemany addressed the situation of the duo’s contracts ahead of the team’s 1-0 win over Girona on Saturday, January 28 and was confident the situation would be remedied soon, as reported by Football Espana.
“Gavi and Araujo have been re-signed for quite some time. There are technical issues, the important thing is that Gavi and Araujo are two players that are shielded with buyout clauses of €1bn, and have signed for another three seasons,” he told DAZN. “We are going to register them. I do not know when, but they are Barca players. The most important thing is that they’re armoured. We will solve the registration, but it is a bureaucratic issue.”
Both players have become vital for Barcelona this season. Araujo is first choice in central defense and has long been tipped as a future captain of the club. Meanwhile, Gavi has already cemented a regular spot in the team despite only turning 18 in August.
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