Younes Belhanda is a Moroccan International midfielder, who wants to play in the Premier League, and it looks like his club, Montpellier, will be willing to let him go this summer.
Younes Belhanda – 23 year-old Moroccan International
And there was a report yesterday that Aston Villa were interested in the 23 year-old attacking midfielder, and it may be they are the first club in for the player.
The Montpellier Chairman Louis Nicollin said a couple of days ago that Aston Villa are one of five clubs who have already made an offer for the 19 times capped Morocco international.
The two Milan clubs, Atletico Madrid and Galatasaray are thought to be the other four clubs who have already lodged bids, but it could be that the transfer fee – thought to be around of €14M (£12M) for Belhanda – is too much for the Magpies.
Newcastle don’t tend to pay out that kind of money for players these days, and attempt to bring in cheaper and less-known players that Chief Scout Graham Carr has spotted, and mainly from the continent – in France, Holland or Belgium.
It seems that Aston Villa are making a move for the player, and he does want to come to play in the Premier league, and in the past London clubs Arsenal and Tottenham have been interested in the Moroccan.
This is what Belhanda said today, and he mentions Aston Villa:
“I am definitely aware that there are five clubs with serious interest in me,” “The president told me how much I will cost for any team that wants me.” “I have told everyone that England will be my first choice.
“Aston Villa is a great club with a big history playing in the best league in the world, so let’s see what will happen.”
If Newcastle do sell some fringe players this summer, we think the Tyneside club could bring in another winger as well as a center-back and a striker, which seem to be our top two targets this summer.
And there’s supposed to be a transfer meeting this week at Newcastle, but no sign of Alan Pardew returning yet from his holidays.
For the record Belhanda joined the Montpellier Youth Academy at the age of 13, after several French clubs wanted him, and since making his debut in the team’s first league match of the 2009–10 season against Paris Saint-Germain at the age of 19, he has made 142 appearances with 29 goals and 16 assists for the former French Champions.
And he will be well known by Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, who was the Montpellier captain before joining Newcastle in January.
For those of you who have seen Belhanda play – what do you think?
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org