Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur have been given the green light to move for transfer target Younes Belhanda.
Montpellier owner Louis Nicollin confirmed he would allow the Morocco international to leave in the summer as his wages are too big for the reigning Ligue 1 champions.
Both Spurs and Arsenal have been linked with moves for Belhanda after he played a pivotal role in Montpellier’s surprising league glory.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger bought centre-forward Olivier Giroud in the summer, who was the other crucial member of the title-winning side.
Belhanda is highly technical and can operate anywhere across midfield or in attack – a typical Wenger signing at Arsenal.
However, Andre Villas-Boas is also looking for greater creativity in his side, which could be especially important if star man Gareth Bale departs.
Nicollin said last season’s title win meant Belhanda got a significant pay rise but a failure to reproduce such form this term means Montpellier must now let him go.
"The door is open for Younes to find a bigger club than ours," he is quoted as saying to French media by ESPN.
"I don't know where yet but he wants to leave. It'll take €10-11 million though.
“He's a boy I love, but we gave him a big salary after winning the title. Next year, we can't do that as we don't have the Champions League.”