Newcastle United have been alerted to the availability of Barcelona play-maker Ibrahim Afellay, the 26 year-old Dutch International who is of Moroccan descent.
Ibrahim Afellay – available for £6M from Barcelona
And it seems as if Barcelona are not asking the earth for this 5’11” tall player, with £6M said to be the asking price.
Afellay played eight seasons for Ajax before joining Barca back in January of 2011, but he sustained a horrific knee injury while at Barcelona, and missed much of last season, only appearing five times for the Spanish club.
In his first partial season at Barca, he played 16 times with one goal for the club that has been European Champions three times in the last seven seasons.
While at Ajax, Afellay played 217 times with 38 goals and is an excellent player, who has represented his country 36 times with three goals, and he is currently with the Holland squad preparing for the Euro 2012 Championships to start next month.
Ibrahim is a fixture of the Dutch national team, and he made the Dutch squads for the UEFA Euro 2008 tournament in Switzerland and Austria, and the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, when Holland were beaten 1-0 in extra time by Spain.
The play-maker however, has a history of injuries throughout his career, and Barcelona only paid £2.3M for him 18 months ago, so they would be making a profit on the player if they sell him for £6M.
It is also expected that Afellay will see some playing time for Holland in the upcoming European Championships in Poland and the Ukraine, and he will be put in the shop window by the former European Champions.
Tottenham and Arsenal are other clubs said to be interested, and Arsenal can offer the player Champions League football next season, and both Newcastle and Tottenham can offer him the Europa League.
Newcastle are reported to be leading the race for the player, and they can certainly afford the £6M for a player this good.
Metro is reporting that Newcastle have around £20M to spend in the transfer market this summer, although whether they could afford his wages, said to be close to £80K/week, is another good question.
It will say something of Newcastle’s ambitions if the Tyneside club are successful in bringing this very skillful player to Newcastle.
We certainly hope they can.
What do you think?