Barcelona presidential hopeful makes Arsenal’s Bellerin his top transfer target

Joan Laporta wants to take Hector Bellerin back to Barcelona if he wins his bid to be re-elected as president at the Nou Camp.

Laporta, who spent seven years in Barca’s big office until 2010, is the favourite to land the role next month.

And sources in Spain say an agreement is already in place between him and Bellerin’s representatives to try to negotiate a deal with Arsenal that would see the right-back return to the club with whom he began his youth career.

A figure just north of £22million, with add-ons, has been discussed.

Right-back Bellerin, 25, arrived in north London to join Arsenal’s academy as a 16-year-old, and has made over 200 appearances for the club.

His contract runs until June 2023 but it is understood he is open to rejoining his old club and returning to his home city.

Laporta initially wanted to do a deal while the transfer window is open next month.

But Bellerin has rejected any notion of moving mid-season and Barca must now wait until this season is over to pull off the transfer.

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The Spaniard, who has captained Arsenal on occasions, was one of a number of young players plucked from Barcelona ’s La Masia academy by Arsene Wenger.

He arrived with Jon Miquel Toral, following in the footsteps of Cesc Fabregas, Fran Merida and Ignasi Miquel.

He and Fabregas went on to enjoy the most success with the Gunners, with Bellerin winning three FA Cups and four caps for Spain during his near-decade in England.

Bellerin spent a spell on loan in the Championship with Watford shortly after his arrival in north London, before he was recalled in February 2014.

He then established himself in the first team and was named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year in the 2015/16 season.

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