Federico Martinez Feria, general manager of Real Betis, has rubbished speculation that the club are in talks to sign Hector Bellerin but admits the Arsenal defender would be a ‘perfect fit’ for them this summer.
Bellerin, 26, is one of a number of Arsenal first-team players deemed surplus to requirements, with Mikel Arteta intent on overhauling his squad after a miserable 2020/21 campaign both domestically and in Europe.
The Spain international started 24 games in the Premier League this season but there’s a general feeling he has failed to live up to expectations since bursting onto the scene as a precocious youngster back in 2013.
Reports coming out of Spain this week suggested Betis had identified Bellerin as one of their top targets at right-back after being alerted to a potential deal, with head coach Manuel Pellegrini likely to need a replacement for the Barcelona-bound Emerson Royal.
Bellerin is a lifelong supporter of the Seville outfit despite growing up in Catalonia and discussions over a season-long loan agreement were said to progressing well.
However, Betis chief Martinez Feria wasted little time in distancing the club from the recent rumours while speaking at a UEFA event in Madrid.
‘We are not making, and I say this emphatically, an effort to sign the player,’ he said.
‘However, he is among the positions we are looking for and is a player of a perfect fit for us.
‘He could be a candidate but we are not talking to Arsenal at the moment about Bellerin.’
Martinez Feria added: ‘The summer transfer window is notorious for there being lots of spurious news.
‘In general, if you analyse it all at the end, the percentage of it which comes true is small.’
Bellerin has made 239 appearances for the Gunners since breaking into the first-team, helping the club win three FA Cups and three Community Shields.
Juventus have also been tentatively linked with Bellerin, who Arsenal reportedly value at around £35million.
The full-back – who has been capped four times by the Spain national team – is tied into a contract at the Emirates until 2023.