Do Liverpool want Younes Belhanda despite him seeing Arsenal as first choice?

Belhanda Morocco

Younes Belhanda has said he would welcome a move to Liverpool but Arsenal are really his preferred destination.

Liverpool are expected to receive a cash boost of £25-30 million for qualifying for next season's Champions League, while their prize money will also increase by their finishing position in the Premier League.

This has heightened talk regarding potential summer arrivals, with one of the priorities likely to be an additional playmaker to relieve pressure on Coutinho and give the club increased attacking options.

Attention may have been piqued yesterday by Moroccan international playmaker Younes Belhanda admitting he would welcome a move to Liverpool, except it was clear from his comments Arsenal are his first choice.

He told France Football: "My favourite club? Arsenal, of course. It is the club of Frenchmen. Newcastle as well, but they are a step below. Manchester City and Liverpool are exciting too.

"There are so many clubs with big histories. That is England."

Belhanda signed for Dynamo Kiev last summer and has seven goals and five assists since arrival. He adds that he is not unduly concerned by the trouble in Ukraine but clearly a Premier League transfer would be of interest.

The question for Liverpool would be whether they should pursue a deal for a player who clearly would rather play for a rival, or whether they should simply accept Belhanda's preference as a practicality of football.

The game is littered with players performing for those who are rivals of the team they supported, while self-confessed Arsenal fan Tim Sherwood is managing rivals Tottenham.

Yet should Liverpool pursue a deal for Belhanda, they will be doing so in the knowledge that should Arsenal enter the race, they will likely lose it, with the Moroccan expected to also be keen to link back up with fellow Montpellier title winner Olivier Giroud.

With Arsenal needing an alternative to take the pressure off Mesut Ozil, Belhanda may just be it.

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