Arsenal could be the club to have reached an agreement with Montpellier for the transfer of midfielder Younes Belhanda, after the French side’s chairman revealed the club had given the green light for a move with two clubs who have met the transfer fee.
Belhanda has been linked with various clubs across Europe, and has been highly rated in France. Arsene Wenger has been struggling with the fitness of his midfielders, and the addition of Belhanda would add competition to a talented yet ailing midfield. The Gunners have been unfortunate in terms of injuries in the last few season, with their academy star Jack Wilshere heading the list on the injury table. Wilshere has been terrific for the club, and has been recognized by Roy Hodgson’s England setup, but his latest string of injuries has hampered his progress as a playmaker.
23-year old Belhanda has also been linked heavily with a move to Premier League strugglers Aston Villa, who have been tracking the contractual situation of the midfielder for the past few seasons. Paul Lambert is keen on bringing the Moroccan to Villa Park, but now faces competition from Arsenal.
Wenger has been on the lookout for various midfielders, including Everton’s Marouane Fellaini, who has been on the Gunners radar for the last few seasons. The Belgian has impressed fans and experts alike, showing incredible versatility with his physique and aerial ability.
The club already have the services of Mikel Arteta, who had been one of the most consistent players for the club last season. Wenger could have another utility option in Belhanda, who will give an impetus to the midfield. With the club’s participation in multiple competitions, this will allow Wenger to rotate his players, keeping them fresh for important clashes. Various Premier League managers have been frustrated with the heavy fixture schedule, but more so with the fatigue in players. This issue calls for a squad with more depth, and Belhanda will provide a new dimension to the squad.
According to SkySports, Montpellier chairman Louis Nicollin has confirmed the news on his Twitter account.
The chairman’s statement read, “Louis Nicollin: ‘we have 2 concrete offers for Y. Belhanda with whom we are in agreement, it is up to the player to choose’.”