Barcelona are ready to offload ex-Arsenal midfielder Alexander Hleb this summer. Ironically, Hleb, 28, left Arsenal for the Catalan giants in 2008, as he didn't like the stay at London.
Hleb played the best football of his life in the Arsenal outfits after joining from VFB Stuttgart in 2005. Arsenal payed a transfer fee of around €15m for the Belarusian footballer.
He had a tough time adjusting to the pace of English football and had a difficult debut season. But, soon after he established himself as a first choice player. Arsene Wenger predominantly used him as a right-winger, but he was versatile enough to play at different positions.
In the summer of 2008, Helb joined Barcelona for a reported fee of €17m, and he had a tough time fitting into the Spanish side.
Hleb realized the mistake and expressed his regret of leaving Arsenal after a few months of tough stay at the Nou Camp. However, he went on to win the treble in his first season with Barca. But, he never managed to break into the first-eleven and virtually ended up as a flop transfer.
Later, Hleb returned to his former club, Stuttgart on loan. Now, Hleb is apparently frustrated with the lack of playing time, and he has hit out at the coach.
"I do not know what he (Stuttgart coach Christian Gross) expects from me, but I have a problem with him. We talked, but nothing was achieved. My chances of staying here? Zero per cent," said a frustrated Hleb, after being substituted for the ninth successive Bundesliga game.
Hleb preferably likes a move back to the Premier League. Barcelona is reportedly ready to let him go for a fee of about €5m.
Barcelona also revealed that some of the Premier League clubs like Aston Villa are keen and a deal will be stuck for the right price.
Manchester City is engaged in bringing back all the ex-Arsenal players and are desperate for more players to overcrowd the streets of Manchester. So, they may also plan a bid for Hleb, mainly because the Belarusian has already proved that he's capable of playing in the Premier League after his short spell with Arsenal.
Arsenal boss should decide whether to bring him back or not. He can afford him for a measly price, and a player with vast experience under his belt is just what Arsenal need at the moment.
Furthermore, Arsenal does lack quality on the flanks with Theo Walcott and Carlos vela completely out of form. At 28, Hleb still has a few years left in him, and Arsenal must exploit the chance to get him for a generous fee. The only cause for concern is his form, but Wenger can do wonders with any player.
So, it won't be a big concern to regain his old form under Wenger. The Frenchman has already re-signed Sol Campbell though for a free transfer. So, surely he's open to re-signing more players.
Should Wenger sign him and Can he regain his old form?