Real Betis ace Emerson Royal insisted that he is fully focused on the Verdiblancos despite reported interest from Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and West Ham United, while speaking to Diario de Sevilla.
Unfortunately for Manuel Pellegrini, whose Betis side have come from nowhere to establish themselves as leading contenders for a Europa League place, the future of a much-coveted right-back appears to be out of their hands.
Emerson might have spent the last two years flying down the flanks at the Estadio Benito Villamarin but he remains a Barcelona player.
The Blaugrana were the ones who handed the Brazil international his chance in Europe, taking him away from Atletico Mineiro in the summer of 2019 before farming him out on loan to their La Liga rivals.
With Goal reporting that a cash-strapped, debt-ridden Barca side would cash in on Emerson if they receive an offer in the region of £23 million, the Sao Paolo-born powerhouse finds himself at the mercy of the Catalan Kings.
“I see what comes out in the press (about my future), but right now I am one hundred percent concentrated here. I don’t think about Barcelona or the other side, I only think about Betis,” said Emerson, who would clearly be keen to stay at a side sitting sixth in the table.
“We have ten important games left and we want to get something out of all of them if possible. When the season is over, I will start to think about my future.
“Betis is a spectacular club and it has to always be fighting for important things. I have been improving every day. I work a lot to improve in all aspects, in defence and in attack. I still have a lot to learn, but I am on the right track.”
Clearly, there are a fair few clubs willing to bet on Emerson’s undoubted potential.
Tottenham were the latest Premier League team to be linked, via Estadio Deportivo, with both Serge Aurier and Matt Doherty enduring a miserable couple of weeks under Jose Mourinho.