Hector Bellerin wants long Arsenal stay despite Barcelona links

Hector Bellerin says he has no desire to return to Barcelona amid reports he is on the verge of signing a new long-term contract at Arsenal.

Bellerin, who joined Arsenal from Barca four years ago, is set to pen a lucrative new deal, sources have told ESPN FC.

The 20-year-old Catalan right-back was linked with Barca earlier this year after establishing himself in Arsene Wenger's first team, but he said he has no intention of following in the footsteps of Cesc Fabregas and Gerard Pique, who both returned to the Camp Nou after spells in England.

"If I'd wanted to play there, I would have stayed there in the first place," Bellerin said in the Mail. "The fact that I came to Arsenal means that I want to play here.

"The job has just started and I am not thinking of going anywhere else. I just want to cement my place in the first team, get more games and hopefully stay for a long time."

He added in The Sun: "The moment Arsenal said they wanted me and I chatted to the boss, saw the training ground and where I was going to live, my mind was made up. I had no doubts.

"Playing for Barcelona's academy team and breaking all kinds of records was a great experience for me, but then I had the chance to catch the Arsenal train and I took it.

"The idea of playing for one of the biggest clubs in the Premier League was a real attraction, but it was the idea of working for Arsene Wenger which really sold the idea to me.

"I know he is a man who likes to bring up young players and I knew if I was doing well that he would give me the chance, and that is how it has turned out.

"He told me that if I worked hard and made the right progression then I could play for the first team. He showed faith in me and I am happy I have been able to justify his trust."

Wenger revealed in March that Bellerin would be handed a new contract after a fine campaign in 2014-15 where he made 20 appearances.

And the Frenchman reiterated that Bellerin will be a key part of his first-team squad for the coming season.

"Yes, he has emerged as an important player last season," he said in Singapore on the club's preseason tour. "So too has Francis Coquelin. Hector has demonstrated that he is a focused and mature player and will be a key player for the club."

ESPN FC correspondent Kevin Palmer contributed to this report