Fc Barcelona made a last-minute dash in the summer transfer market to sign Héctor Bellerín and subsequently Marcos Alonso once he terminated his contract with Chelsea and became a free agent.
The official presentation of both players is set to take place on Tuesday at the Ciutat Esportiva. Bellerin saw his 11-year association with Arsenal end as he made a return to his hometown club. Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta revealed that it had been a dream of the right-back.
Having been Bellerin’s teammate as well as his manager, Arteta revealed in his pre-match press conference, “He [Bellerin] called me really late last night and it was more of a conversation that we used to have when we were teammates and really good friends.”
Arteta continued, “I love the kid, I love what he’s done for the club, he’s someone that I have really strong feelings about and I wish him all the best because I know that it’s one of his dreams to play there [at Barcelona]. Hopefully, he can fulfill his dream and get his career back to where he can because he’s still very young and has a lot he can do.”
Bellerin has signed with Fc Barcelona on a one-year deal. The Gunners retain a 25% sell-on clause should the 27-year-old end up leaving Barcelona in the future. Barcelona also completed the signing of Chelsea and Spain NT left-back Marcos Alonso.
The 31-year-old had a year left on his contract at Stamford Bridge but left the club by mutual consent on deadline day. Alonso joined Barca on a one-year deal with a release clause of 50m euros. He joined Chelsea from Fiorentina in 2016 and helped them win the Premier League as well as the Champions League.
The Spain international scored 29 goals from 212 appearances in his 6-year stay in London. Alonso’s father also played for Fc Barcelona from 1982-1987. Marcos Alonso becomes the third defender to join the Catalan giants on a free transfer from the Premier League this summer.
It is not usual for Barca to present two players at the same time, but due to a packed schedule with the start of the Champions League this week, both Bellerín and Alonso are expected to be formally presented on Tuesday. The presentation is expected to take place after the pre-match press conferences of the upcoming Barcelona-Viktoria Plzen group stage match.