Barcelona continue chase for 25-year-old Arsenal defender

Barcelona are willing to ramp up their pursuit of Arsenal full-back Hector Bellerin and are ready to include a player in a cash-plus-swap deal, according to the latest reports in Spain.

Barca are interested in luring the right-back away from north London this transfer window, with the Gunners ready to cash in.

However, according to Spanish newspaper Marca, the Catalan side are working on a very restricted kitty and will have to get creative in order to sign Bellerin.

Their preferred variant is to initially sign the 25-year-old on loan with an obligation to buy the Spaniard permanently next summer – though Arsenal board are very clear that they want a big sum now so they can invest in the transfer market themselves.

If Arsenal are reluctant to agree to a loan, Blaugrana will instead try a permanent transfer but will use a player to lower the overall outlay of the deal.

As things stand, Barcelona wouldn’t be able to meet Arsenal’s £25 million asking price, though that could change if the club find a buyer for Nelson Semedo – who is rated at around £40m by the Spanish side.

It is not clear which player they would be prepared to sacrifice to the Gunners to land Bellerin, but the likes of Jean-Clair Todibo, Junior Firpo and Martin Braithwaite are believed to be surplus to requirements.

Blaugrana would, however, be easily able to afford Hector’s salary, particularly with a number of high earners being offloaded; Ivan Rakitic has signed for Sevilla, why Luis Suarez is also expected to depart.