Among the Arsenal-related transfer rumours we’ve seen this year, the one linking Hector Bellerin to Paris Saint-Germain is one of the most persistent.
The Spanish international has been repeatedly mentioned in connection with the Champions League finalists, despite the insistence from Gunners boss Mikel Arteta that he still sees Bellerin as part of his plans for the new season.
PSG lost Thomas Meunier to Borussia Dortmund this summer and, while Thilo Kehrer gave a good account of himself in the Champions League, they could use a new face.
If Bellerin is allowed to leave, though, who might be in line to replace him? We’ve looked at some of the Gunners’ options.
While some anticipated a slew of Norwich City sales after their relegation from the Premier League, this has been far from the case.
The Canaries could realistically go into their opening Championship game with the squad which impressed at times last season, but their full-backs appear to be the most at risk.
Jamal Lewis has been linked with Newcastle United, while Aarons – one of the standout players from the top-flight campaign – could be a solid addition to the Gunners’ squad if Bellerin leaves.
Aarons, who made his England under-21 debut last summer, showed he has Premier League quality.
2. Hans Hateboer
Hateboer was one of the stars of Atalanta’s Champions League run last season, prompting interest from Juventus, but he remains in Bergamo for the time being.
The Dutchman has shown his ability in a back four or back five, and that kind of adaptability could be a great fit for how Arteta wants to set up his Arsenal team.
He showed his quality going forward last season, scoring twice against Valencia in the Champions League, and knows how to get up in support of his attack.
This points to someone who could be capable of replacing the energy of Bellerin if he does move on.
Sidibe was linked with Arsenal back during the Arsene Wenger days, having broken through at Wenger’s former club Monaco.
While that move didn’t materialise, the French international did spend last season in the Premier League, joining Everton on a one-year loan and playing 25 times in the league.
While his form in a transitional year for the Toffees didn’t earn him a permanent deal, the 28-year-old could be a cheaper option if Arsenal are keen to divert some of their funds to other areas in need of strengthening.
Staying in Ligue 1, 23-year-old Turkish defender Celik has already been linked with a move away from France, with Tottenham linked this summer and AC Milan previously making enquiries.
The Gunners have done business with his club, Lille, already this summer, bringing in Gabriel, and their scouts will have been aware of him from watching his Brazilian team-mate.
With more than 50 games in a top-tier league, he has already made strides in his career and a move to England could follow.
If Arsenal do end up accepting a bid for Bellerin, and if £25m ends up being the price, do they really need to invest in a new right-back more than they need to strengthen other areas?