City warned off defensive target

City warned off defensive target

Manchester City have been heavily linked with Hector Bellerin but Arsenal have stressed they intend to keep hold of the defender.

City boss Pep Guardiola is keen to strengthen his options at right-back as Pablo Zabaleta is due to fall out of contract next summer and there has been speculation he could leave for Inter Milan in January.

Bellerin, who is under contract until 2019, has established himself as one of the league's best full-backs during his time with the Gunners and is believed to be Guardiola's top target, but Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says he is not for sale.

The 21-year-old has also been linked with Barcelona but Wenger is confident Bellerin will agree to an extension and commit his future to the club.

“He has nearly three years to go, we always try to get the players to the financial level where we think they deserve to be,” Wenger said.

“We will try to extend his contract, his long-term future is here.

“He has been absolutely fantastic. His first game was a nightmare. The season before he was at Watford where he didn’t play.

“His progress has been brilliant because he has absolutely top mental strength.

“He is at a team that meets his needs and values. He came at a very young age. He is an Arsenal player.”