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Arsenal watching Tariq Lamptey as potential replacement for Hector Bellerin

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Arsenal are keeping an eye out for Brighton and Hove Albion starlet Tariq Lamptey as they prepare to take an interest in Barcelona right-back Hector Bellerin.

Bellerin has long been tipped to return to Camp Nou at some point, and that fire rekindled recently when a report emerged suggesting that Barcelona presidential candidate Joan Laporta made Bellerin one of the his main targets if he wins the January elections.

Hector Bellerin
Bellerin has been linked with a move to Barcelona | Catherine Ivill / Getty Images

It has even been said that Bellerin has already given the green light to join Barcelona if Laporta takes control, and according to The Mirror, Arsenal are starting to consider potential alternatives.

Lamptey is a player who has been watched by scouts, whose energetic performances have earned him rave reviews since leaving Chelsea in January.

Manchester City and Bayern Munich have also been keeping a close eye on Lamptey, with the 20-year-old expected to be the subject of serious interest in the transfer market next summer.

Tariq Lamptey
Lamptey wowed the scouts | Naomi Baker / Getty Images

Brighton are expected to try to tie Lamptey to a new contract in the near future to try to give them as much leverage as possible in the negotiations. Manager Graham Potter has made no secret of his desire to see the England youth international blossom into a star at the AMEX stadium and is hoping to see Lamptey sign up for the club soon.

Arsenal is not expected to move for Lamptey as long as Bellerin remains at the club. Mikel Arteta is a big fan of the Spaniard and doesn’t want to lose him, but there is a realization that the Gunners’ current struggles could make it difficult to maintain players when players like Barcelona call.

Bellerin has already ruled out leaving Emirates Stadium in January and is ready to stay and help Arsenal end their difficult form run.

Mikel arteta
Arteta would prefer to keep Bellerin | Pool / Getty Images

He was an inspiration in Saturday’s stunning 3-1 win over Chelsea, which left Arteta even more determined to retain Bellerin.

However, with reports suggesting Barcelona are preparing a £ 22million bid for the 25-year-old La Masia graduate, it appears Arteta and Arsenal are keen to make sure they aren’t caught off guard. if Bellerin leaves.

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