Assessing Newcastle United's chances of signing Younes Belhanda

Belhanda Morocco

Could the 22-year-old Moroccan join the French-speaking revolution at St James Park this January?

Younes Belhanda has become one of the transfer markets most bandied around names of late and in the Premier League the likes of Arsenal and more specifically Spurs have been mentioned as particulary interested in his potential services.

Indeed Mapou Yanga M’Biwa has already left Montpellier this winter after agreeing a move with Newcastle United and the club has also agreed a fee with Turkish outfit Fenerbahce for a potential transfer for Belhanda. Such developments have angered the French champions president Louis Nicollin:

"Apart from Turkey I do not know who wants (Belhanda), but Turkey is complicated. I'll only sell my players to English and German clubs. Belhanda and Mapou, it was set in their heads what they wanted. Do I want them now? No. They showed a lack of professionalism, which is evident in view of the wages they were seeking."

With a deal between Belhanda and Fenerbahce stalling; apparently surrounding the Moroccan internationals lack of desire to play in the Turkish league; could Newcastle United complete a big coup? We assess the potential of a deal. 

Younes Belhanda signs for Newcastle United

Well firstly there are the obvious Francophone connections. The Moroccan international was born in Avignon and has spent his entire life in France; even representing the nation at youth level before making his Morocco debut in 2010. Joining the likes of Cabaye, Haidara, Gouufran, Ben Arfa and former team-mate M’Biwa could be a massive incentive.

Then there is European football. Newcastle are still in the Europa League and while qualification for continental competition seems out of the question for next year they still have a chance in this campaign to make a continental mark.

Then there is the third question; where else would he go? At this present moment in time it appears nobody wants to snap up the 22-year-old despite his precocious talent. He returns home from African Nations duty on Monday and will likely move straight toward discussions about his future but with just Fenerbahce available he might find himself begging for an opportunity to join The Magpies.

Younes Belhanda DOES NOT sign for Newcastle United

Money. While Newcastle have thrown plenty of it at the current transfer window to help strengthen a thin squad the reported £12 million it would cost to sign Belhanda may prove a stumbling block. However with Montpellier keen to be shot of him that price may come down before the 31st.

Then simply put he may not fancy joining a team struggling near the foot of the Premier League. With Wesley Sneijder and now Didier Drogba reportedly on the move to Turkey it is a growing league and he may want to be a part of it.

Do you think Newcastle United should try to sign Younes Belhanda?

image: © elnaimmi

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