La Liga club started talks with £110,000-a-week Arsenal right-back

Federico Martinez Feria, general manager of Real Betis, has rubbished speculation that the club are in negotiations to sign Hector Bellerin but admits the London giants right-back would be a ‘perfect fit’ for them this summer.

Spain international is one of several Gunners first-team footballers deemed surplus to requirements, with Mikel Arteta intent on overhauling his squad after a miserable 2020/21 season both domestically and in Europe.

Bellerin started 24 matches in the PL this campaign but there’s a general feeling he has failed to live up to expectations since bursting onto the scene as a precocious teenager back in 2013.

Reports coming out of Spain this week suggested Real Betis had identified Hector as one of their top targets at right-back after being alerted to a potential deal, with manager Manuel Pellegrini likely to need a replacement for the Barcelona-bound Emerson Royal.

The 26-year-old defender 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, Real 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.’

The Spanish right-back has played 239 games for Arsenal since breaking into the first-team, helping the club win three FA Cups and three Community Shields.