Arsenal and Tottenham are set to battle it out for the signature of Barcelona midfielder Ibrahim Afellay, according to the Metro.
The report claims that Barca are ready to cash in on the Dutch ace and will accept offers in the region of £6m for the former PSV midfielder. Afellay moved to Spain in January 2011 from the Dutch side but has struggled for game time, making just 5 appearances last season after missing seven months with a serious knee injury.
The 26-year-old is currently away on international duty with Holland ahead of this summers European championships, and Barcelona have put him up for sale hoping a starring role in Poland and Ukraine may boost the players value, as the Catalans look to raise funds for their own summer transfer plans.
The Metro suggest that Arsenal and Tottenham have both been tracking the Dutchman for several years now and may sense the opportunity to grab a bargain, but they may face competition from Liverpool who are also said to be long-term admirers. However, any move from the Merseysiders will be put on hold until new boss Brendan Rodgers outlines his transfer plans to the clubs board.
Afellay is certainly a talented individual and will not be short of options this summer, but any potential suitor will be weary of his chequered injury record.
Robin van Persie seems to link up well with the lad at international level so Arsene Wenger may decide to follow-up his interest and pair them up at club level, and it would also be a nice way of persuading his captain to stay at the Emirates.
However, we shouldn’t discount Tottenham as a potential destination. Question marks remain over the futures of Rafa van der Vaart and Luka Modric, and Afellay would fit in well should either leave White Hart Lane this summer.
There aren’t many players out there available for just £6m who have the talent of Afellay, and i wouldn’t be surprised to see him plying his trade in North London next season. But whether it’s for Arsenal or Tottenham…it’s hard to say.
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