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Thursday 22 August 2019

Atleti offer Vitolo for Bellerin

Hector Bellerin
Hector Bellerin

Atletico Madrid are interested in Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin and could tempt head coach Unai Emery by offering to send Vitolo in the opposite direction.

Despite the fact he is still recovering from a knee injury, Bellerin has emerged as one of Atletico's summer targets, with manager Diego Simeone keen to bolster his defence with a new right-back.

Bellerin signed a six-and-a-half-year contract in November 2016 and was linked with Juventus last summer, but the Italians were put off by Arsenal's £50million valuation.

The Gunners are unlikely to have dropped their price and may not want to sell, but Atletico are prepared to test the water by offering Emery the chance to link up with Vitolo again.

The Spain international played for Sevilla under Emery and the pair won three Europa League titles together before Emery joined Paris St-Germain, and Vitolo signed for Atletico.

A versatile player who can operate as a winger or as a forward, Vitolo has been capped 12 times, but has scored only once in La Liga during his two seasons at Atletico. Bellerin has not played since January, when he underwent an operation on the anterior cruciate ligaments in his left knee after being carried off on a stretcher against Chelsea. Arsenal had hoped he would be able to play some part in pre-season, but there are now fears he will not be ready for the start of the Premier League season.

Arsenal have considered moving for a new right-back and have been linked with Yannick Carrasco, who has been suspended by his club, Dalian Yifang in China.

He returned late from international duty and has been told to issue a public apology or stay away from training.

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