Transfer news

Fenerbahce deny Belhanda deal

January 7, 2013
By Ian Holyman, France Correspondent

Fenerbahce have denied they are close to sealing a deal to take Montpellier's Younes Belhanda to Turkey, though have admitted trying to make the move happen.

Younes Belhanda
PA PhotosYounes Belhanda has received two red cards already this season.

A Turkish TV channel claimed the two parties had reached an agreement that would see Belhanda, 22, leave his native south coast of France for Istanbul. While Fenerbahce would not go that far, the club did acknowledge their interest in the prodigiously-gifted Moroccan international.

"What was announced on NTVSpor, that is to say an agreement between Fenerbahce and Montpellier for Younes Belhanda, is not true," read a statement on the club's official website. "The staff are working on this transfer, but are not yet in a position to announce a deal."

Montpellier president Louis Nicollin joked last season: "If [Eden] Hazard is worth €50 million, then Younes is worth €60 million". However, the Ligue 1 champions would likely accept a fee in the region of €12-15 million for a player who, this term, has failed to scale the heights of last season when his telepathic understanding with Olivier Giroud underpinned the club's surprise, maiden title triumph.

According to L'Equipe, Fenerbahce's current offer is of some €8 million plus bonuses for a player who still has a further season-and-a-half to run on his current contract.