Arsenal target Arda Turan to end nightmare spell at Barcelona with return to Turkey

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Arda Turan never settled at Barcelona.

Turkish league leaders Istanbul Basaksehir are in talks with Barcelona to bring midfielder Arda Turan back to Turkey after a troubled Camp Nou spell, the Super Lig club said on Wednesday.

Basaksehir, who have risen fast over the last two seasons to rival the established Istanbul triumvirate of Besiktas, Fenerbahce and Galatasaray, however warned that the transfer was still a work in progress.

“The process is continuing. I don’t think there is any problem with him but this part of the talks with Barcelona is not easy,” Basaksehir’s manager Abdullah Avci was quoted as saying in Turkish media.

“The situation will be made clear on Thursday or Friday.”

The club’s chairman Goksel Gumusdag said in a statement that he held talks in Barcelona with parties including Turan and Barcelona chief executive Oscar Gomar.

He said that he returned from the talks “feeling positive” due to the player’s enthusiasm and the backing of its sponsor.

“We have agreed in principle on many issues but there are still some steps that need to be taken,” he said.

Press reports have said that a six-month loan deal — which could be converted into a permanent arrangement — was being discussed.

Turan, 30, joined Barcelona in 2015 after four successful seasons with Atletico Madrid but he has failed to hold down a first team place and has been linked with a move to Arsenal in recent times.

The player is a household name in his home country, where his personal life is followed as closely as his exploits on the field.

After his move to Barca, the authorities in the gritty Istanbul district of Bayrampasa announced that they had named the road where he grew up “Arda Turan Street” in his honour.

Turan has also made no secret of his support for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, attending rallies to back “my commander-in-chief” in the wake of the failed coup bid in 2016.

He quit international football earlier this year after being thrown out of a training camp by former coach Fatih Terim following a fracas with a reporter on a plane.

But the subsequent departure of Terim, which also came in the wake of a fistfight, opened the way for Turan’s recall in August.

Many expected Turan to rejoin Galatasaray, the club where he rose to stardom a decade ago, but Terim’s appointment as manager appears to have made this impossible.

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'Liverpool is no longer the same' - Roberto Firmino bids farewell to Barcelona new boy Philippe Coutinho

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Philippe Coutinho finally got his dream move to Barcelona when he completed his transfer from Liverpool on Monday.

The lengthy transfer saga concluded with the Reds being paid a £142 million fee for the Brazilian.

Liverpool fans have reluctantly bid farewell to the creative midfielder while Roberto Firmino posted a heartfelt goodbye on Instagram as well.

“Liverpool is no longer the same without the magician,” the post read.

“Bro, I wish you infinite success, that you enjoy life and realise all your dreams. God is always protecting you and the whole family!!”

“It was an honour to play with you El Wizard”

Coutinho was Firmino’s best man at his wedding when he married Larissa Peereira last summer.

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Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez will add something to Man City 'when he comes', says Kevin de Bruyne

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Alexis Sanchez and Kevin de Bruyne could soon be teammates.

Kevin De Bruyne believes Alexis Sanchez would be a welcome addition to the Manchester City squad.

The Premier League leaders have been heavily linked with a January move for the Arsenal forward.

There were suggestions in December that City, who have long been interested in Sanchez, would prefer to wait until the Chile international comes out of contract in the summer.

But an injury to striker Gabriel Jesus has since sparked rumours a deal could be done sooner.

City have not commented on whether this might happen but midfielder De Bruyne at least appears confident Sanchez will become a City player sooner or later.

De Bruyne said: “(He is) a very good player. Obviously we will see what happens in this transfer period.

“If a good player comes to us that is better, if he doesn’t come we do it with the team we have. We are on a good period already – the whole season. Everybody is doing a good job.

“When he comes he will add something to the team.”

De Bruyne was speaking after City were given a stern test by Championship side Bristol City in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final.

Pep Guardiola‘s side needed a late Sergio Aguero winner to claim a 2-1 advantage ahead of the return clash at Ashton Gate after De Bruyne had cancelled out a Bobby Reid penalty.

“They played good,” said De Bruyne of the Robins. “They came here to play and that was nice.

“I don’t think they had a lot of chances but they created some problems in the first half. I think we kept on playing and in the end I think we deserved to win it.

“We missed too many chances but obviously it was very good to score the second one.”

City, who are 15 points clear at the summit, return to Premier League action with a tough trip to Liverpool on Sunday.

De Bruyne hopes to get some time to rest before the trip to Anfield.

The Belgian said: “We have five days, that will be good. It has been a tough period for four months now. Our Christmas period is four months already!

“It will be nice to have five days and then almost a week before Newcastle to get a little bit of recovery.”

City have not won at Anfield since 2003.

“We don’t care about that,” De Bruyne. “It is just the way football goes. We go there to win the game.

“They will have a very strong team, they want to be there for the Champions League, but we just try to do the things we do good and then we will see what happens.”

The club are thought to be close to agreeing a new contract with De Bruyne but the player insists there is no rush.

The 26-year-old said: “We are still in negotiations. I am waiting for an offer from the club but my agent has been on holiday for three weeks. There is nothing really new for the moment.

“I’m not in a hurry. I still have three-and-a-half years on the contract.”

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