Not content in having already added Lukas Podolski and Oliver Giroud to their ranks in recent weeks, The Express believes that Arsenal are also hoping to bring Ibrahim Afellay to the Emirates this summer.
With the recent acquisition of Jordi Alba from Valencia and with Barca still trying to raise funds to take Javi Martinez from Bilbao to Catalonia, the Catalans are willing to listen to offers for their speedy wide man. The Gunners are optimistic of landing Afellay at a cut price deal of £6 million, and will be hopeful that he can help Arsenal continue to challenge in the Champions League and the Premier League next season. After a slightly disappointing first season for Gervinho and an almost non-season from Park Chu Young, Arsene Wenger seems determined to bring in another winger, and Afellay with his creativity and speed ticks all the boxes of an Arsenal player.
The out of favour Barcelona winger, has found first team opportunities limited at the Nou Camp since his arrival from PSV Eindhoven in 2010. An injury hit campaign last term saw first team opportunities limited for the Dutchman but he did manage to force his way into the Euro 2012 Holland squad, starting two of their three games. Despite a disappointing Euro 2012 for the Netherlands as a whole, Afellay looked bright and gave the Dutch an alternative to the explosive Arjen Robben out wide.
However the Gunners may face competition from arch rivals Tottenham who also remain keen on the 26 year old. According to The Express, Spurs have had two loan to buy offers rejected in the past by Barcelona and they are likely to enter the race for his signature should he become available. Although despite the interest from White Hart Lane, Arsenal are considered Afellay’s preferred destination, as the Gunners are playing in the Champions League next season and are home (for now) to international teammate Robin Van Persie.
But this is unlikely to deter new Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas, who is determined to build a side he believes is capable of challenging for the title. It is no secret Spurs are looking to offload midfielder Steven Pienaar, presumably to free up space for a player like Afellay to come in. Having already signed Belgian utility man Jan Vertonghen, and with the confirmation today of the permanent signing of striker Emmanuel Adebayor, AVB is likely to fight for Afellay and should the funds be raised from the Pienaar deal, the future of the 26 year old is not a foregone conclusion.
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