Arsenal enter the race for Belhanda?

Younes Belhanda

With misdirection seemingly coming in from all over the place it's hard to know what to believe regarding Younes Belhanda's future, but the latest speculation is that Arsenal are keen on the Montpellier midfielder.

The Belhanda transfer saga has thrown up some of the oddest moments of the transfer window so far, and the rumours surrounding the player's future show no sign of abating.

At first it looked like he was set for a move to Fenerbahce before talks broke down over Montpellier's valuation of the player. As a result the subsequent rumoured interest from other clubs like Tottenham Hotspur was viewed as Montpellier simply trying to drive up Fenerbahce's bid, and after all this time, this might still be the case. The strangest moment came when Montpellier claimed to have accepted a £10 million bid from Inter for the player, before the Italian club denied having ever made such a bid.

With all this in mind, it's hard to say how much interest there is from English sides, but Arsenal are now rumoured to be in the running for the player. Montpellier still want £10 million, making him fit the price range of both Arsenal and Spurs, but how much either side needs him is open to debate.

Belhanda primarily plays as an attacking midfielder, a position that Spurs are reportedly keen to strengthen. However they are most likely to do this by bringing forward Lewis Holtby's summer move from Schalke to this January, and adding Belhanda to Dempsey and Sigurdsson, with Holtby's arrival on the horizon doesn't make much sense.

Arsenal also have plenty of attacking midfielders, although it's fair to say most of those prefer playing on the flanks of an attack. Santi Cazorla would clearly be ahead of Belhanda in the pecking order, but Arsene Wenger might view the Moroccan as a talented young back up, who also has experience of playing with Olivier Giroud.

Neither Arsenal or Tottenham seem to be desperate to sign Belhanda, and that could suggest that their rumoured interest is part of Montpellier's attempts to drive up his fee. But at the same time the midfielder is a talented player at a reasonable price, and could be an asset to either side in the race for Champions League qualification. Perhaps Montpellier will get the bidding war they so desire after all.

image: © Yvelines

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