London (AFP) – Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin insisted Friday he was happy to see out his existing contract with the Gunners amid reports linking him with a move to Premier League leaders Manchester City or Spanish giants Barcelona.
The 21-year-old Spain full-back, battling to be fit for the North London derby at home to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, began his career at Barcelona’s celebrated La Masia academy but he told the London Evening Standard: “If I wanted to play there I would have stayed there.
“I was very happy when Arsenal showed interest in me and I decided to come here. I’m not looking back, I’m just looking to help Arsenal.
“It’s nice for a player to know that big teams want you, but I’m very happy here.
“I’ve still got three years left on my contract, so I’m just focused on playing every single week, improving and hopefully making things happen here at Arsenal.”
Bellerin has been an ever-present in Arsenal’s strong start to the Premier League season, with the Gunners unbeaten in all competitions since an opening-day loss to Liverpool.
Tottenham, meanwhile, have the only remaining undefeated record in the the current Premier League campaign.
While he and many of Arsenal’s ‘foreign legion’ grew up without the derby rivalry meaning that much to them, Bellerin said everyone at the Emirates Stadium was well aware of what it meant to beat Tottenham.
“You don’t need to be told, you just know,” he said.
“It’s like a rule you just learn when you come into the club and you can see when you interact with fans how important it is to them.
“They (Tottenham) did well last season. They’re a threat. They are a good team.
“We’re going to have to take control. We know they press high, we know they press well. They run a lot, but it’s up to us to be inspired and when we have our chances to take them.”
Arsenal are currently second in the table but only behind leaders Manchester City on goal difference, with Tottenham three points further adrift.