Barcelona right-back Hector Bellerin has reportedly emerged as a transfer target for Roma manager Jose Mourinho.
The Spain international ended his 11-year stint at Arsenal to return to Camp Nou on a free transfer in the summer, having starred on loan at Real Betis last season.
Bellerin has since made a mere five appearances for the Catalan giants in all competitions, though, making two starts in the Champions League and one in La Liga.
The 27-year-old has been an unused substitute in each of Barca’s last four La Liga games, and he is only under contract in Catalonia until the end of the season.
As things stand, it is unclear whether Barcelona boss Xavi will give the green light to an extension for Bellerin, who would otherwise be able to hold pre-contract talks with other clubs in January.
According to Gazzetta, Roma manager Mourinho is keen to reinforce his right-hand side with the signing of Bellerin as he prepares to wave a bitter goodbye to Rick Karsdorp.
The Dutchman has likely played his final game in a Roma shirt after ostensibly being blasted by Mourinho for a poor substitute display in a 1-1 draw with Sassuolo on November 9.
Mourinho stated that the unnamed player has “betrayed” his team and should find a new club in January, and Karsdorp was subsequently dropped from the squad to face Torino at the weekend.
Former Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United boss Mourinho knows plenty about Bellerin from his time in the Premier League, and the report adds that Xavi is keen to replace the Spaniard in the summer.
However, Bellerin has affirmed his desire to remain with his boyhood club, telling the press: “I want to renew, I’m happy with Barca. When I left at 16 I never even trained with the first team.