Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham have suffered a setback in their bids to sign Barcelona winger Ibrahim Afellay. Rob Jansen, the Dutch player's agent, admitted that his client has said he wants to continue to play for the Spanish champions.
The 27-year-old has been a transfer target for the Reds and the rival clubs from North London. Afellay spent his last season on loan with Schalke and has returned to Camp Nou after ending his injury-plagued time in Germany.
"Afellay will train and play with Barcelona. He is a player of Barcelona and wants to remain a Barcelona player. He has a contract with the Spanish club," said Jansen, as quoted in Tutto Mercato Web.
Meanwhile, Jansen's comments come just over a fortnight after he earlier hinted a move to the Premier League as a "strong possibility" for the midfielder.
"The Premier League is very tempting for Ibrahim. It is a strong possibility for his next move," Afellay's agent told the Metro.
Afellay completed his move to Camp Nou from the Dutch club PSV Eindhoven in the mid-season of 2011. However, the midfielder's time with Barcelona has not been fruitful as he failed to feature regularly with the Spanish champions.
Meanwhile, Liverpool midfield Joe Allen is delighted to be back in training after missing the latter part of the last campaign due to injury. The Welshman completed his move to Anfield from Swansea in summer 2012. The 23-year-old has now set his eyes on a fresh start to the 2013/14 season.
"It's brilliant to be back. Obviously we all enjoy our break and our holidays but, at the same time, we can't wait to get back in and get started. Having missed the end of last season, I personally couldn't wait to get back in. Hopefully I can put the injury behind me once and for all," Allen explained.
"I think, for anyone, your first year at a new club can be tough in some ways but I feel settled here now and I'm looking forward to a fresh start with the coming season. Hopefully I can put in some good performances," he added.