Saturday, 25th August, 2012
Ibrahim Afellay could indeed spend next season on loan away from Barcelona – and the race for the Dutchman is hotting up.
The attacking midfielder, who can also play as a second striker, has been keen to continue at the Camp Nou despite learning that first team football will be at a premium under coach Tito Vilanova this season.
But now Afellay is believed to be open to a loan stint after Barcelona promised they would monitor his progress and consider bringing him back for the 2013/14 campaign; the Spanish giants are of the opinion that the 26-year-old needs regular first team football.
Afellay already has an offer on the table from Italian giants Inter, which he was ready to accept, but now, according to Spanish daily El Mundo Deportivo, a trio of English Premier League sides have re-entered the race for his services.
Two of those interested parties are believed to be Arsenal and Liverpool, even though the latter were knocked back by Afellay just weeks ago.
Afellay is believed to want to join a club which has Champions League football to offer as he has little desire to step down a level; that would place Arsenal and potentially the third mystery English club at the front of the queue.
The former PSV Eindhoven man’s future looks set to be decided soon as the clock ticks down on the summer transfer window.
Afellay joined Barcelona in January 2011, but suffered a serious injury in September of the same year when preparing for the new campaign. Upon his return, he found breaking into the Blaugrana team a difficult task.