Barcelona SC club president José Francisco Cevallos has been to see Brighton and Hove Albion striker Billy Arce in an Ecuadorian prison following his arrest for drink driving.
Albion loanee Arce was arrested in his home country of Ecuador as the 21-year-old was caught drink driving, and taken to prison for 20 days, plus 50 hours community service.
Arce signed a four-year contract with Albion in August 2018 after he joined for a reported £860,000 from Independiente Del Valle of Ecquardor, where he scored 18 goals in 52 appearances.
He has never played for Brighton and has had loan spells at Extremadura in the Spanish second division, Ecuadorian outfit Emelec and then Barcelona SC, who are second in the Ecuadorian Serie A.
The arrest has clearly upset officials at Barcelona SC and they considering their options - including a potential return to Brighton. Arce is loaned to the Guayaquil side until the summer of 2020.
“I went to visit Billy Arce in prison, it’s a shame, he was wrong again," said Cevallos, speaking to CRE Satelital. "A decision will be made in the board of directors, because we are armoured with a special contract.
“We have spoken with his representative and the English club are aware of the case. Obviously, at the beginning that was foreseen, we will analyse the most convenient thing. The criteria of Leo Ramos, the manager, is also crucial. And with that input we can make the best decision, since we are contractually backed.”
Brighton are fully aware of the situation but have made no official comment at this stage.