Belgian star Mbark Boussoufa, who has been eagerly scouted by Aston Villa, has been told that he can leave Anderlecht should the fee match the side’s valuation.
Martin O’Neill’s side has stepped up their attempts to land the tricky, versatile midfielder after the Dutch-born Moroccan was again voted Belgium’s Player of the Year for the second time in a row.
The former Chelsea youth player moved to Belgium in 2004 where he served two years with FC Gent before moving onto Belgian champions Anderlecht. The 25-year-old has now indicated his wish to leave Brussels and, while the Belgian side are reluctant to let him go, it now seems certain that his future could take place in the Premier League or in the German Bundesliga where Hamburg have also stated their intent.
“Boussoufa can go if a team offers what we want,” claims Anderlecht manager Herman van Holsbeeck, “He was a key player and therefore he can only go if a club does what we ask. We will not make concessions.”
Belgian leagues aren’t exactly known for their competitive nature but, regardless, Boussoufa’s achievement of winning a Player of the Year double shouldn’t be taken lightly. He also previously won the ward in 2006.
His outstanding performances in the Belgian league this year – in which he scored 14 times and created 20 more – not only assisted Anderlecht to the title but also earned him a significant raise which has made him the highest paid footballer in the county.
It is expected to take £8m to prize the Moroccan international away from the Belgian champions and Martin O’Neill is expected to make a bid of similar stature in the coming months depending on the status of James Milner once the World Cup has come to a close.
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