talkSPORT reports that while Arsenal and Liverpool might be gunning to scoop up Montepellier forward Younes Belhanda, his current team are to offer him a tasty new contract as an incentive to stick around.
Belhanda is a much-sought after commodity following his cracking performance for the Ligue 1 Champions, in which he tapped in 12 goals over 28 matches. It follows that the 22-year-old Morooccan Wunderkind has mustered plenty of interest from top-tier Premier League squads, none more than Liverpool and Arsenal.
The player’s smooth, technically proficient ability as well as his versatility – playing both wide and through the middle – makes him a snug fit for a Premiership wage, but his current team is reportedly offering to roughly triple his current salary from £15,000 to approximately £45,000 per week.
If Belhanda is to leave, it marks an unfortunate sign of the times for Montpellier, who recently let go star striker Olivier Giroud to Arsenal for what many considered to be a paltry £12m. The team’s president Louis Nicollin, who was previously derided for allowing other teams to low-ball him on star acquisitions, has vowed to push harder to retain their prime players.
With Andrei Arshavin on his way out from Arsenal, they are very much the favourites to attempt to acquire Belhanda, while Liverpool are looking to shake-up their attacking methodology with some new blood. However, one cannot entirely discount left-field candidates, such as Manchester City, who have been widely reported as interested in the winger.
Nevertheless, it is believed that, with the right offer, Belhanda will remain at Montpellier and serve as a potent weapon in next season’s Champions League.