Wenger dismisses reports linking Bellerin with Barca

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has dismissed reports linking Hector Bellerin with a return to Barcelona.

The 21-year-old right-back, who has been in outstanding form this season, is under contract until 2019.

Bellerin was born in Barcelona and was with the Catalan club before Arsenal snapped him up in 2011.

And there has been speculation that he could be the subject of a big-money bid when the transfer window reopens in January.

However, speaking as his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s game against Swansea, Wenger said: “I’m surprised by the speculation. He has nearly three years to go and for me his long-term future is here. In life you do not have to play where you were born.

“He has been absolutely fantastic. His progress has been absolutely spectacular.”

Meanwhile, Wenger believes Aaron Ramsey is close to finally returning to action.

Ramsey has not featured since suffering a hamstring injury during the Gunners’ loss to Liverpool on the opening day of the season.

Wenger expected the Welshman to return to sooner and admitted: “I am disappointed. He had a few little setbacks and forced us to be cautious.

“He is not far away now, but next week will come too early. We have decided we will give him a complete pre-season now, even if he misses one or two games.”

Francis Coquelin, meanwhile, has recovered from a knee problem and is available for the Swansea game.

Mesut Ozil has insisted that he is also fit despite being taken off at half-time during Germany’s World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland.