Atletico Madrid join race to sign £110,000-a-week Arsenal defender

The London giants have slapped a £20m asking price on right-back Hector Bellerin, with Atletico Madrid leading the race for the defender’s signature. Spain international has spent the last decade at the Emirates Stadium but he’s deemed dispensable by the Spanish coach, who must raise funds to invest in other areas of his squad this summer.

Los Colchoneros are on the lookout for a replacement for Kieran Trippier, who is keen on joining Man United. While Diego Simeone’s side would rather keep the Englishman, they could recoup the £20m they paid for him in 2019 and replace him with Hector, who is four years his junior, for the same price.

Gunners put Bellerin up for sale last summer and were keen on him to join PSG in winter, where they hoped to raise as much as £30m for the ex-Barcelona man. However, Arsenal will accept a lower fee this summer, with the 26-year-old defender resigned to the fact that his career at the Emirates Stadium is likely coming to an end.

La Liga giants face interest from rivals Real Betis for Bellerin’s signature but the Spanish right-back would rather move to Diego Simeone’s side, who beat Barcelona and Real Madrid to the title last term. Mikel Arteta is open to selling a number of first-team footballers this summer in order to boost his transfer budget.

Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock, Granit Xhaka and Eddie Nketiah could all leave, while the departures of David Luiz, Dani Ceballos and Martin Odegaard have already been confirmed. Odegaard has returned to Real Madrid after the expiry of his loan spell but the Gunners have not given up hope of signing Martin on a permanent basis.