VIDEO: Reported Arsenal, Aston Villa and Spurs target scores superb curler on international duty

Belhanda Morocco

Younes Belhanda was on the scoresheet as Morocco defeated Gambia last night.

This time last year French outfit Montpellier were being raided by every team across the continent after they shocked big-spending Paris Saint-Germain with a Ligue 1 title triumph of fairy-tale proportions.

But Montpellier did well to perhaps keep hold of their most talismanic player amongst all of that transfer talk and rumour; Younes Belhanda.

The Moroccan international decided to stay at the club to honour their Champions League qualification but after a much more difficult season in 2012-13 he is set to leave the club this summer.

Even his usually defensive club president Louis Nicollin has admitted he will sell the player this summer at a cut-price valuation believed to be in the region of around €12 million.

Arsenal and Tottenham have long been linked with a move for the player but currently the team seemingly in pole position to snap him up is neither London side; in fact Aston Villa appear to be the team most likely to sign the mercurial playmaker.

They have already made contact with Montpellier about a transfer and Belhanda refused to rule out a move to The Midlands; in fact he seemed quite excited by the possibility:

"I am definitely aware that there are five clubs with serious interest in me. 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."

There has also been the odd report circulating in the past week that Villa are in fact not interested in the player.

Overall it is a confusing situation but on the advice of former team-mate and current Arsenal player Olivier Giroud he does seem to have set his eyes on a Premier League move.

And he demonstrated what we could be in for against Gambia yesterday in an African World Cup Qualifier.

He bagged the second and final goal in a 2-0 victory for The Atlas Lions that keeps them in contention with current Group C leaders Ivory Coast in the race for Brazil 2014.

And it was a sublimely confident goal; picking up the ball on the edge of the box, shifting it right and bending it past the helpless Gambian keeper to send the Stade de Marrakech into raptures.

Surely Villa fans would love to see this happening at Villa Park next season…

image: © elnaimmi

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