Nou Camp side ready to listen to last minute transfer window bids from Emirates Stadium and White Hart Lane sides.
Arsenal and Spurs on alert as Ibrahim Afellay told to leave Barcelona
Ibrahim Afellay has been told he can leave Barcelona, just weeks after he disappointed Arsenal, Spurs and Liverpool by saying he wanted to stay at the Camp Nou.
The Dutchman has endured a miserable 12 months, spending most of it in the treatment room after suffering a cruciate ligament injury.
He had hoped to establish himself in the Barca first team this season, but new coach Tito Vilanova has informed the 26-year-old he is not in his plans and can move on.
Arsenal and Spurs are both hoping to bring in more new faces before the transfer window closes, and would still be interested if the Netherlands international is available for the right price.
Ibrahim Afellay was always going to find life hard at the Nou Camp and so it has proven. The Dutch international had impressed many during his time at PSV Eindhoven but the talented attacker opted to move to Barcelona in the hope he could force his way into the first team reckoning.
Barcelona took the calculated risk of spending a small sum, £2.4m, on a player who had just six months to run on his PSV contract, knowing full well that if the risk did not pay off that they could in time sell the Dutchman at a later date for a fee in excess of that which they paid.
Afellay will have grown steadily frustrated during his 18 months at the Catalan club and would have hoped that he could persuade new boss Tito Vilanova of his ability, this has failed to prove the case.
Arsene Wenger had been strongly linked with a move for Afellay when he was still plying his trade in the Eredivisie and Tottenham’s interest is relatively fresh. A move to either North London club would probably tempt the Utrecht born 26 year old but perhaps the Gunners are a slight favourite on the grounds of having Champions League football to offer.
Arsenal pushed to land Nuri Sahin on a loan deal but the Real Madrid man is instead heading to Anfield, therefore it seems plausible that Wenger still feels he needs added creative options and Afellay’s adaptability may well be key to the Emirates Stadium boss’s interest.
Ibrahim Afellay made just one start for Barcelona last term and will no doubt be keen to end his Nou Camp nightmare.
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