Arsenal's Hector Bellerin: Barcelona speculation 'makes me happy'
Hector Bellerin has told Mundo Deportivo that news of Barcelona's reported interest makes him happy, although he was also keen to stress he has a long-term contract with Arsenal.
Barca are keen to sign a right-back this summer having not effectively replaced Dani Alves, who left for Juventus last year, and former academy graduate Bellerin, 22, is reportedly their top target.
The Spain international did little to rule out a return to Barca, saying "a lot can happen" before the start of next season, while revealing his family have already had to move back to Catalonia for personal reasons.
"It's not something you think about when you leave, because you don't know how things will go," Bellerin said when asked if a Camp Nou return would happen if it was solely up to him.
"I was lucky enough to take a chance on Arsenal [as a 16-year-old]. Things have gone well and now hearing this type of news about Barca is something which makes me happy, but it doesn't depend on me.
"It's nice to know of interest from a club like Barca, the club where I grew up from a young age. For the moment I don't know anything, I'm an Arsenal player and we will see what happens."
In a separate interview with Diario Sport, Bellerin said Arsenal's failure to qualify for the Champions League could have an impact on any decision he may have to make this summer.
"Everyone who has played in the Champions League wants to get back to playing in it again," he said. "We all want to be at the top level. To not play in the Champions League is a disappointment, something negative. It's not ideal and it could condition [my plans] a little, yes."
However, Bellerin said Arsene Wenger's future was never linked to his after the Arsenal manager signed a new two-year contract recently despite calls for him to end his 21-year spell in charge of the club.
"We didn't know how it would pan out. In the end [Wenger] decided to renew, but I'm linked to Arsenal regardless," he said. "The fact he renewed doesn't change many things, with any coach I'd have to have continued [at Arsenal] because I have a contract. Many players are really happy with his renewal, but at the end of the day if you're an Arsenal player you owe the club, whoever the manager is."
Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.