Exclusive – Arsenal are ready to sell long serving right-back Hector Bellerin this summer and hope to replace the Spaniard with highly rated Norwich starlet Max Aarons, who is valued at £30m.
Bellerin joined the Gunners a decade ago when he was just 16 and quickly became a fan favourite after he broke into the first-team towards the end of 2014. However, injuries severely limited his appearances in both 2018/19 and 2019/20, while he has also recently fallen out of favour.
Paris Saint-Germain were interested in signing Bellerin last summer. The French giants failed to meet Arsenal’s valuation on that occasion, but 90min understands the club is now prepared to let him go as Edu and Mikel Arteta look to breathe new life into the squad.
The Gunners are intent on landing Norwich’s Aarons as a replacement. Club staff are firm admirers of the 21-year-old, believing him to be the right profile of player for the ongoing project. They have been tracking him for a couple of years already and he has everything they want looking forward.
Aarons recently helped Norwich secure promotion back to the Premier League, having previously been one of the Canaries’ few shining lights during their brief spell in the top flight last season.
The England Under-21 international even caught the attention of Barcelona and Bayern Munich last season, while Manchester City, Everton, West Ham, Crystal Palace, Leicester and Newcastle have all asked to be kept informed of his situation ahead of this summer.
But despite competition from other Premier League sides, Arsenal are confident they will be able to strike a deal. Even though Norwich have just been promoted, 90min understands they have informed Aarons that they will not stand in his way if his valuation is met – they are looking for £30m.
Aarons himself was born in London and started his junior career at Luton, around 30 miles north of the capital. He moved much further away to the academy at Norwich at the age of 16 but is believed to be more than happy to now return to London.
Arsenal are gearing up for a crucial and potentially busy summer. 90min has previously revealed that the Gunners are prepared to sell Alexandre Lacazette instead of offering the 29-year-old a new contract and have reignited longstanding interest in Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha.