Bringing Hector Bellerin to Barcelona 'very difficult' - Robert Fernandez
Barcelona sporting director Robert Fernandez has told El Mundo Deportivo that a deal to bring Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin back to the Camp Nou in the summer would be "very difficult."
Sport recently reported that 22-year-old Bellerin was a key target.
Asked about the possibility of Barca signing Bellerin, who joined Arsenal in 2011 from Barca's youth team, Fernandez said. "Of course Hector is a good player.
"He is well known. He is playing at a great level but there are also other players that have good characteristics."
However, Fernandez says negotiations to bring players like Bellerin, Juventus forward Paulo Dybala and Paris Saint Germain playmaker Marco Verratti would be very challenging.
"Those players are under contract with their respective clubs," he said. "And especially when a player has a long-term contract, it's very difficult.
"We are open to bringing reinforcements, to sign a player, and always have in mind the idea of improving the team, but to improve Barcelona's team, especially our first team, it's very difficult because we have a magnificent side.
"We have to give value to what we have."
Bellerin has started 27 games in all competitions for Arsenal, and signed a new six-year deal with the club in November.
The Spain international recently said he was "flattered" by Barca's reported interest and did not rule out returning to the club one day.
Barca's priority is to tie Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta to new contracts, with their current deals ending in June next year.
Negotiations have been ongoing and Fernandez reassured fans that both players would sign.
"It's a process and it takes time," he said. "In the past there were doubts regarding other players when it came to contract extensions, and they all signed new deals.
"Leo will be with us for many years -- I have never doubted that. Andres is a magnificent professional. He has a lot of football left to give us."
Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.