Could Ukraine unrest lead to renewed Arsenal and Tottenham Belhanda interest?

Younes Belhanda

Aston Villa were also keen on Younes Belhanda in the summer - but could he be on his way out of Dynamo Kiev?

Last summer saw a scramble for the signature of Montpellier attacker Younes Belhanda - who had finally decided to leave the French side for pastures new

From around Europe teams were said to be keen on his services with Bundesliga, La Liga and Serie A all possible destinations.

Premier League clubs were also queuing to sign him up, with Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa among the front-runners for the playmakers signature.

Arsenal wanted to pair him up with Olivier Giroud, AVB saw him playing just behind the striker at Tottenham while Paul Lambert felt he would be the perfect marquee signing for Villa.

So when he instead decided that he wanted to move to Dynamo Kiev in a deal worth £9.7 million - it came as a shock.

The deal came as such a surprise to the French press that the day after they reported that Belhanda was ready to rip up his contract and reconsider his options - claims that proved to be false in the end.

The highlight of his time in Ukraine so far would have to be an excellent hat-trick against Metalurh Donetsk in October - but he has not scored since and his time in Kiev has been mixed on the pitch - with injuries and form fluctuating.

Off the pitch - well things are not much better.

Ukraine is gripped by civil tension and the recent protests in the capital city have led to a change in government - while the situation in Crimea remains fragile.

Belhanda spoke of the mass Kiev protests to the press recently - stating:

“At the airport, there were many people, some looters, but protesters who control the area. We feel people suspicious, even though most were armed with shotguns, among others. (I live) just a few blocks (from independence square). Down at me, no barricades, but the ceaseless passage of demonstrators converge instead. I'm just down a few minutes because we have been warned that there were many snipers on rooftops and it was better to stay home.”

However despite the complicated and seemingly dangerous situation he confirmed he had no plans to leave Kiev in the summer … for now:

“No, not at all (plan on leaving). As long as my family and I do not feel in danger, we will remain and I will continue to do my job.”

But according to the French press that could all be about to change.

The situation in Ukraine is now at its most tense yet - and Marseille are reported to be keen on snapping him up.

If Arsenal, Spurs or Villa still carry a torch for the player - they might just be able to talk him into an exit.

It would of course be better to do so in more pleasant circumstances.

image: © Yvelines

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