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Arsenal offered Barca outcast as West Brom beat them to midfielder

| 13.07.2012

Arsenal may take up the offer from Barcelona to sign Ibrahim Afellay after losing out to West Brom in the race for Rennes midfielder Tongo Doumbia.

Barcelona are desperate to get rid of a couple of their squad players to free up the necessary funds to sign a new central defender and top of their list of sales is Dutchman Afellay.

Arsene Wenger was previously interested in the versatile winger prior to him joining Barcelona and may be tempted to make an offer again if he is allowed to leave for relatively low fee.

The speculation is that Afellay could be available for as little as €6m, which looks a bargain price for a player with an international pedigree and still has a bright future ahead of him.

Afellay looked to be a big talent of the future at PSV, but his progress has stunted in recent seasons, while his cause at Barcelona was not helped by a knee injury that kept him out for virtually all of the last campaign.

Meanwhile, with Yossi Benayoun returning to Chelsea after a semi-successful loan spell, Afelley could easily fill this void.

Competition for his signature is expected to come from Inter Milan who could benefit from some extra trickery in the wide areas and some natural width.

However, one midfielder that Arsenal will almost certainly not be signing is Doumbia, who believes that a switch to West Brom will be better for his career development at his current age of 22, where he wants more of a guarantee of first-team opportunities.

Doumbia said: “I felt more desire there [at West Brom]. Obviously, it is less glamorous than Arsenal but I will have more chances to play.”

Arsenal are currently 7/10 in the Premier League odds to finish in the top four and 12/1 to win the title for the first time since 2004.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.