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Ligue 1 club president not ruling out the sale of Barcelona target: “Preparing for everything”



Photo by ODD ANDERSEN/AFP via Getty Images

Morocco have emerged as the biggest surprise package of the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar, having made it as far as the semi-finals, defeating teams like Spain and Portugal along the way.

Several well-known players like Hakim Ziyech, Yassine Bounou and Sofyan Amrabat have stood out for the African nation. At the same time, there have been some fresh faces that have burst onto the limelight, with one such name being Azzedine Ounahi.

The 22-year-old central midfielder, who plies his trade for Ligue 1 bottom-feeders SCO Angers, has emerged as one of the stars for Morocco at the World Cup. And his performances have been enough to turn heads at Barcelona.

Indeed, the Blaugrana, who are in the market for a new interior midfielder, have shown an interest in Ounahi as a possible low-cost alternative to someone like Bernardo Silva, who has been on the club’s agenda for a long time now.

And now, Angers’ president Said Chabane has hinted that the club could be open to selling Ounahi either in January or in the summer in case offers come in and the player wants to leave.

Speaking to RMC Sport (h/t Mundo Deportivo), Chabane hailed the exploits of the Moroccan national team, saying: “We did not expect it, they are living a dream while awake. It is exceptional for them first, it is exceptional for Morocco, and then for all African countries. It is a source of pride for us as well.”

Then, the Angers president insisted that the club were already starting to prepare for the scenario that players could leave after exploding at the World Cup, as he said:

“We are preparing for everything, we had a meeting this afternoon with the coach and the sports coordinator to try to weigh all possible scenarios and not end up in the water if it were to happen (…) You know very well that you can never stop a player who wants to leave (…).”

When asked if he was surprised by the performance levels shown by Ounahi at the World Cup, Chabane replied:

“No, no. He is someone who is full of talent. When you look at him physically, you say to yourself that he’s not going to get very far, but he has a chest, he runs a lot, he has an exceptional touch, a good vision.”

“So no, I’m not surprised by what he’s doing at the moment. When he has space and gets to express himself, he does what he wants with the ball.”

Chabane’s comments will come as a boost for Barcelona as they look to make a move for Ounahi to reinforce their midfield. However, any transfer would hinge on the Catalans first sorting out their Financial Fair Play issues with La Liga.

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