x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Arabian Gulf League: Al Jazira in the mix as Montpellier clears Belhanda to choose

Al Jazira have confirmed their interest in Montpellier's star midfielder Younes Belhanda, reports Osman Samiuddin.

Montpellier's Moroccan midfielder Younes Belhanda is a transfer target of Al Jazira, but clubs in English Premier League and Italy's Serie A may also have an interest.
Montpellier's Moroccan midfielder Younes Belhanda is a transfer target of Al Jazira, but clubs in English Premier League and Italy's Serie A may also have an interest.

ABU DHABI // Al Jazira have confirmed their interest in Montpellier's star midfielder Younes Belhanda, though the club refused to reveal whether they have made one of the two "concrete offers" the 2011/12 French champions say they have received.

"We are interested in him, definitely, but any deal is far from being finalised," a senior club official told The National. Belhanda was in Abu Dhabi recently before flying back to France, but Jazira officials say they have not moved beyond expressing interest.

The Morocco international, 23, has been linked to several clubs across Europe and has expressed a desire to play in the English Premier League.

On Thursday, Montpellier tweeted a quote from Laurent Nicollin, the club chairman, saying: "We have 2 concrete offers for Y. Belhanda with whom we are in agreement, it is up to the player to choose."

Reports have linked him to AC and Inter Milan, but England remains a likely destination. Newcastle, Tottenham and Arsenal have also been in the running.

"I have always said that my preference would be England, but if they can't agree a price with my current club then I will not go there," Belhanda said recently.

The price could be a sticking point. Earlier this month, speaking to a radio station, Nicollin said he would seek €15m (Dh71.2m) for him, "but I would settle for 14 or 12".

Nicollin added that he had received offers from England, Germany and the UAE.

Belhanda, who scored 12 goals in all competitions last season, has been targeted by Jazira as a replacement for Matias Delgado.

If they do make an offer in the region of what Nicollin has outlined, it will be close to the UAE record fee of €14m they paid to buy Ricardo Oliveira from the Spanish side Betis in 2009.

 

osamiuddin@thenational.ae

 

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