Monday, June 17, 2024

Report: Udinese join Barcelona in Bellerin coquetry

With two weeks left of the summer transfer window, the clock is ticking for Hector Bellerin to find a new club.

It’s no secret that the Spain international wants to return to Real Betis, however, with the Andalusian outfit having to activate a Barcelona-style ‘lever’ to register six of their summer signings the odds are against them having the cash to put together a package that will satisfy Arsenal.

There has been talk of Hector taking a huge wage cut to push through an agreement with Betis but it appears that would have to be coupled with Arsenal terminating the right-back’s contract with a year left to go. It’s not impossible, we’ve done it before, but there’s also no need to rush into that decision just yet.

A number of other clubs appear to be waiting in the wings with former club Barcelona amongst them. Despite spending the summer plucking money from thin air, they too are reticent to part with a transfer fee and appear happy to wait until deadline day to see if he becomes a free agent. A deal would also depend on Barça selling Serginho Dest. Links with Atletico Madrid linger in the background.

In Italy, Udinese are the latest club to show interest, according to Sky Sports Italia. Pablo Mari’s former club are selling current right-back Brandon Soppy to Atalanta for £10 million and they need a replacement. It all looks very convenient but that tends to be because some bored journalist has indulged in some basic arithmetic and nothing more.

Personally, we’d offer Hector a new lifetime deal and a role over the road at Highbury House. If Danny K can move to the IT department, I’m sure we can promote our favourite Spockney to chief sustainability officer while also letting him design all future kits.

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Was a class act for quite a while, very quick and skilful. Not sure where it all went wrong (paid too much?) but wish him luck wherever he goes.


never had any real competition. As a result, unless they are extremely personally motivated individuals, it can sometimes plateau for some players.


Knee Injury ended it all, lost a bit of pace which previously had helped paper over his defensive deficiencies

Heavenly Chapecoense

Our own Delle Alli, they even have same dress sense. Good luck to him, a good man for the earth and humanity.

Wrighty’s hats

Agree re knee injury being the turning point. Such a shame as he was on the up and up before it. His form for us following that wasn’t for lack of trying – some injuries are particularly cruel in that they take away your best asset, which in his case was his pace (and to a degree, confidence in challenging for balls to the same extent as beforehand). I hope he gets to go wherever he wants, he’s one of us and has only ever been professional and a good ambassador for our values.


Honestly would wait to see how serious the injury to White is.
If it’s at all serious then sod it, just keep him. He’s better than Cedric.


£110k per week is the issue, £5.7 million in wages plus taxes etc just to sit on the bench


Cedric is on around 70k I think and has a couple of years more left on his contract. So overall he‘ll cost us more in wages.
If somebody would be willing to take Cedric, I’d be more than happy to keep Hector for a season and look for a new rb next summer.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Cedric is more suited to ‘Artetaball’.

Hopefully White is okay. If the injury was serious I reckon we may have heard about it midweek.

Mayor McCheese

I don’t know about that. Did you watch Betis last season?


Betis were great last season and won the Copa del Rey. Despite a few injuries for Hector, he played really well.

Mayor McCheese

Cedric is third-choice RB behind Tomiyasu and White, so it’s not really an issue that needs to be hotly debated. I don’t imagine we’ll see much of Cedric other than perhaps League Cup and early Europa games?

Indeed, regardless of what we think, it’s clear that Arteta prefers Cedric to Bellerin as a back-up option, and whether that’s a question of tactical suitability, temperament, ability, or some combination of those, we don’t know, but neither Arteta nor Bellerin see the latter as having a future here.


Agree he’s levels above Cedric and better at attacking than tomiyasu. I feel he got tarred with the same brush as the centre halves he had inside him who weren’t great. Also looks like the relationship with Arteta broke down a long time ago so wants him out regardless of ability.

Teryima Adi

When it comes to selling players, for now, Arsenal sure looks like Santa Claus.

Boy Bastin

Yes, but we can only sell players if some other club wants to buy them and we can agree on the fee. We wanted £12m for Leno but no club would pay that so he was sold at a big discount (33%) to Fulham. It appears no club wants to pay a fee, or only a very low fee, for Bellerin. We will have to accept that or try and loan him out again. If we can’t we’ll continue to pay his not insignificant wages for the rest of his contract basically for warming the bench most of the time.

“Discount” to Fulham on Leno is closer to 75%. We’re only guaranteed 3 mill. Agree with you though on the rest of your post.


What do you expect. The transfer fee is the value a club sees on top of the salary. Love Hector but he’s not worth £5m per year, so it’s not realistic to expect a club poorer than us take him on the same salary AND pay us a transfer fee (unfortunately, but that’s what you get when you give crazy contracts out!)

Merlin’s Panini

It wasn’t really a crazy contract at the time when he signed it. He was our first choice right back on the back of a few excellent seasons where he wasn’t paid that much.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a player be in such high demand with no one willing to offer a transfer fee. It’s mental.

Zadok the Regular Priest

The fact that there’s a guy named Brandon Soppy really hit me like a train in the middle of that sentence.

Cooked Patino

What hit me more is finding out he was sold for £10 million and we’re still turning on a spot for Hector. Different scenarios, I know but still…

A Different George

I think at 27 Hector still wants to play and, unfortunately, everyone agrees that can’t be at Arsenal. But I don’t think giving Hector a role at the club when he is done playing is far-fetched; there’s no player I’ve liked more.

In the meantime, I hope he can get back to Betis or, if that’s impossible, to a club where he plays regularly, contributes on and off the pitch, and becomes–as he surely will–a fan favourite.


That would be great if we could get a fee for him, I just wonder if his heart is set on Betis and won’t settle for anything but terminating his contract?
AMN has been linked away hopefully get a fee for his, 5 England caps if I’m not mistaken, and if Morgan Gibbs white can go for £44.4m then why are we being taken for fools for what are pretty decent players? Strange market.


The fact that Auba went to Barca for “free” and they are now selling him for £12m actual money with a year on his contract, 6 months later, says that this free cancel contract model has to stop. We covered his end of the season and now they are getting a fee which is the position we didnt want to be in bizarrely. Players over 27 do have a value we are just poor in extracting it. As much as I love Bellerin, he played well on loan in a real league. Agents are now waiting for us to blink… Read more »


Agent’s are banking on the well demonstrated fact that Arsenal clearly value dressing room morale much more highly than the economic impact of our actions, in particular as regards players being frozen out, poor loan deals and contracts cancelled. I’m not suggesting that our approach is wrong – it’s clearly been paying dividends on the pitch. But I do think there is a question which could be posed of the club as to whether in retrospect there could have been better ways of handling either unhappy, troublesome or in-need-of-minutes players to ensure we recoup a reasonable market value for them.

A Different George

Well, do you honestly believe Arsenal would have been better off refusing to let Aubameyang leave at that time? Whatever the causes, the relationship was not only beyond repair, it would surely have had a negative effect on other players, other relationships, in the dressing room and beyond. Avoiding that was worth some money, don’t you think?


Well, look at Man U now. They are full of bloats and they are adding more. I am happy that the club is dojng the cleanup job ruthlessly. Have to appreciate the owners for not going with the easier option and save money.


Exactly, I’m loving the humility that is enabling this clear out. We made massive mistakes, we’re learning, we’re progressing!

Unlike Man U who look like 30yr old Cassemeiro on massive wages will be their next mistake.


Year £60 for Casemiro…I mean he is a decent player but my goodness…I have to admit Man Utd are much worse than arsenal least we are correcting our mistakes they are adding to theirs I feel no pity for them whatsoever


It seems we can cancel contracts for shits that cause trouble but not for the good guys? Players like Ozil and Auba who were taking the piss get rewarded with a cancelled contract but decent guys like Kos and Hector get done over. I appreciate there has to be a stop to this sort of thing but I don’t think it’s right taking it out on Hector. He’s given us years of his best, played with an injured ankle for the best part of a season because Arsene was too tight to get a backup, never complained and has always… Read more »

Guns Up

It sounds to me from the outside like Arsenal have been/are willing to make concessions to get Hector what he wants. And I appreciate the point that he, of all people, deserves the benefit of the doubt, but there has to be SOME balance. Not reasonable to expect Arsenal to unilaterally make all the necessary sacrifices (as far as the two clubs are concerned). I feel for Hector and hope it all works out for him, but he is under contract. I keep seeing clubs extract value from worse players in similar contractual situations, and the only reasonable expectation is… Read more »

Spanish Gooner

I agree. Hector is the starting right back for a team that got CL football last year. It’s important we don’t just cancel his contract – even Pablo Mari has a £7m purchase option. Torreira too should stay if nobody will pay for him.


You must be kidding?
Getting Auba’s wages off the books was a gift from above. He was unmovable on those wages. We’d have lost far more than £12M and kept a player who is known to be disruptive when he chooses to be (see: Dortmund).


I’m not disputing Auba needed to go. Barca wanted him loan but we wanted to cancel the contract because we deemed he’d have no value with a year left. On the looks of it we were wrong. Barca are paying money to get Marcus Alonso at 31 who has a year left on his contract and no future at Chelsea. The cost of all this is not coming out of pockets and means we have less go invest.


I don’t think Barca were totally keen on Auba, he rocked up there and made sure all the cameras were on him to force the issue. They figured out a way to get him on the cheap until the end of the season and now his wages are due to go up they want him out of the door.

Merlin’s Panini

I have no doubt in my mind they told him to do that. Barca are well known for using underhand tricks to get what they want. “Just wind up the Arsenal board a little more by coming here instead of training and they’ll really want shot of you.”

The club have to take these on a case by case basis.

We could have kept Auba on gardening leave until the summer, and then sold him now.

But that would have cost say 8 months salary (350,000 x say 35 weeks (January until August) = £12,250,000) and there’s no guarantee we would have been able to sell him for much more than that to cover those wages.

Boy Bastin

Quite right. Auba was released mainly to get his salary off the books (and possibly because the manager thought that he was a disruptive influence). We shouldn’t forget that in some cases, Arsenal have had to pay players to leave – cancelling their contract and making a payment of a % of their remaining wages – simply because it was less expensive than keeping them on full pay. And what will Arsenal do about Pepe? He apparently earns some £7.2m per season. Who will remotely match that salary? Nobody. And who is likely to pay other than a fraction of… Read more »


They are not actually gonna sell him, who would be stupid enough to give him £300k+ a week again?

Barca want rid as they signed him on £80k with a clause that says it rises to about £250k from this season. That is quite an amount to sit on the bench whilst Lewandowski starts.

I would be very happy for him to sign for Man U or Chelsea though as he would just be a financial weight around their neck for 2-3 seasons as i dont think he would score many for either side now his pace is waning


I do dispute the narrative it was good business and he was unmovable. He was going on loan. He scored 11 goals in 23 matches for them. He does have an economic value to teams who want to win matches but he was a bad apple for us. The point being we can’t keep cancelling contracts and getting no fees for players above a certain age, not playing. It’s unsustainable. Betis finished 5th in La Liga with Bellerin. He’s a good player who has value even now and won’t want to waste a year at his age. Even loans pay… Read more »


Funnily enough, Auba left 8 months ago and we would have paid him £12m in wages in that time. So the direct opportunity cost is exactly the same. Of course the indirect benefit of not having him pollute the squad is far more valuable, the policy is getting us out of a bad situation, people need to understand this. Implying Barca are a well run club is questionable, and surely your eyebrow is raised at them trying to offload a player 6 months after getting him. This says it all. Bellerin is paid too much, we can’t expect to be… Read more »

La Pulgita

Bellerin was not I’ll judged, he was a legit elite rb, the injuries got to him so we have better options now is all.

Eazy Deezy

Yeah good point
To be fair, the Auba situation was a little different back in January though, as there weren’t any PL clubs interested then in mid-season. It’s a different market when PL clubs are bidding

Boy Bastin

Potentially good news as this saga has been rumbling on now for some time. I doubt we’ll get much, if anything, in the way of a fee though. At least we’ll be able to get him off the books if one of the clubs mentioned actually take him.


He used to be valued by Barca for 50 mil and now he’s like Free Transfer?
Come on, we can do better then that when we all away our players. Time to put a stop to contract termination. Its becoming a habit


These contract terminations are a result of poor decisions on the past, it’s not reflective of bad current decisions. In fairness we probably could have gotten some money for one or two, but it’s a massive gamble as you may sit with a player you don’t want for the benefit of a small fee. This is probably the last transfer window where we are getting rid of players we don’t want, on this scale at least. Next summer we will be arguing about why we are selling certain players.

VAR will solve all the problems

This is how it goes sometimes. Dele Ali was apparently considered to have better stats than Ronaldinho and unsellable by the Sp*rs and played in CL final. (Don’t know why, out of all the players, his example popped up in my head) Lesson is we need to learn that no player should be considered “untouchable”! Sell them when the price is right. AMN we could have sold for 25 mil 2 years ago and now we can’t even move him for peanuts. Hopefully this will be our last clearing-out and from next transfer window, everyone will have to pay premium… Read more »


I do dispute the narrative it was good business and he was unmovable. He was going on loan. He scored 11 goals in 23 matches for them. He does have an economic value to teams who want to win matches but he was a bad apple for us. The point being we can’t keep cancelling contracts and getting no fees for players above a certain age, not playing. It’s unsustainable. Betis finished 5th in La Liga with Bellerin. He’s a good player who has value even now and won’t want to waste a year at his age. Even loans pay… Read more »


unless barca have cash in hand, i would simply ignore them as they mortgage their future in an attempt to save the present.

Mesut Ö’Neill

Man, Arsenal are so bad at outgoing transfers.

Tear up Aubameyang’s contract to allow him to go to Barcelona for free & then they demand £21m for him only 7 months later.


Nope, Arsenal were so bad at handing out fat contracts that have provided terrible value.

Arsenal saved £18m per year by managing to offload him. Barca are trying to get rid after a matter of months!

Would love to see it, but don’t think Chelsea/ Man U are that dumb.

Merlin’s Panini

Man U are definitely that dumb. They are so scared of fan backlash they keep leaking transfer ideas to the press. If they had any courage in their convictions or any idea what they were doing they would go ahead and do business. They have their own Auba situation with Ronaldo and their only signings of note are a 30 year old midfielder who had a heart attack (who they’re playing out of position) and the world’s smallest centre back. They’ve been a mess for years. Always papering over the cracks. Look at their recent string of forwards: Falcao, Zlatan,… Read more »

Brazilian gooner


Arsenal: OK, 10m euros and he is yours

— Betis Barça and Udinese leave the room —


Future Arsenal manager

He’s still a “Spain international”?


Happy to keep him on the payroll so we have a badass mustache at the club. No?

Public Elneny

It’s often the case that we can’t sell because their wage demands are far higher than anyone else is willing to pay. But in this one Bellerin has made it clear he’ll take a large pay cut to move. And it’s not like he only has interest from broke clubs either. Even accounting for oversized contracts we are still really, really bad at selling. Clubs and players know we’ll fold sooner or later, maybe even completely waive a transfer fee and cover part of their wages ourselves. And when a player falls from our long term plans their playing time… Read more »


We do have a lot of right backs. Tomi, White, Cedric, Bellerin and AMN.

At the heart of the problem is that we became known a s a club that gives away players. Now Udinese see the chance to sell theirs for £10m and pick our player up for free.

Teams like Chelsea have a few players they can’t shift on the books to pay wages, but they get great fees in return for other sales. We cannot constantly give players away and cancel contracts, while subsidising wages of other clubs.

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