Real Betis have confirmed that Hector Bellerin will return to Arsenal when the season ends although they haven’t ruled out a reunion with the player at some point in the future.

“Hector is a fantastic player and a very good person,” Betis president Angel Haro told Marca.

“It was a loan that we had from Arsenal, now he returns to Arsenal and from there, we’ll see.

“It is true that he has been very taken by life at Betis and that his parents are Betis supporters. Hopefully we will cross paths again.”

The right-back bid an emotional farewell to the Betis fans following Sunday’s final home game of the season against Granada.

Joined on the pitch by his parents, his tears seemed to suggest any hope of a permanent move – wanted by both parties – has been extinguished.

Fuelling speculation that Betis can’t afford to pay Arsenal’s asking price, teammate Borja Iglesias later took to Twitter calling on teammates to start a crowdfunding campaign to raise the necessary funds.

You can understand why Hector is sad to leave. After a tough year at Arsenal, he was reinvigorated by his loan, quickly shaking off the cobwebs to become an important member of Manuel Pellegrini’s squad.

That he won the Copa del Rey – Betis’ first major trophy since 2005 – and helped them qualify for the Europa League, capped off a memorable season.

As things stand, Hector will be expected to report for pre-season training at London Colney in early July, however, with his contract ending in 2023 and his stock on the rise again, we wouldn’t be surprised if the club decides to cash in this summer.

Whether Betis can find the necessary cash, remains to be seen.