Turkish league leaders Istanbul Basaksehir on Saturday announced they had reached an agreement to sign midfielder Arda Turan on loan from Barcelona.
“Arda Turan is returning to his country wearing the orange kit (of Basaksehir). This is not just a transfer for Basaksehir, but a transfer for all of Turkey,” club president Goksel Gumusdag said in a statement.
In a tweet, the club shared a video of a crossword being filled in with the key answers being “Arda Turan.”
Basaksehir have risen rapidly over the last two seasons to rival the established Istanbul triumvirate of Besiktas, Fenerbahce and Galatasaray.
Barcelona and the Istanbul club agreed on a one-and-a-half year loan with an optional extra year, state broadcaster TRT Spor and Hurriyet daily reported.
Gumusdag visited Barcelona earlier this week to meet Turan.
The 30-year-old joined Barcelona in 2015 after four successful seasons with Atletico Madrid but has been unable to hold down a first team place.
Turan receives an annual salary of around eight million euros at the Catalan club, according to Spanish media.
He quit international football last June after former coach Fatih Terim threw him out of a training camp following a fracas with a reporter on a plane.
Turan then declared two months later he was ready for a recall.
Turan has also expressed open support for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, attending rallies to back “my commander-in-chief” following the July 2016 attempted coup.
The transfer window is well and truly in full swing!
Here, we take a look at the biggest stories dominating the headlines on Saturday.
Will any of the following deals happen?
Let us know your thoughts.
Manchester United are set to challenge Liverpool over the signature over Christian Pulisic, according to the Independent.
The 19-year-old Borrusia Dortmund star has been in impressive form for club and country – and is an icon in the American sports market.
While Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is a keen admirer, he could face stiff competition from Man United.
Liverpool have longed been linked with a move for the USA star and it looks more likely Pulisic could sign for the Anfield outfit than Jose Mourinho’s side.
At Anfield, Pulisic would be guaranteed regular game time and have the best platform to help him develop as a player.
If he was to put pen to paper on a deal at Old Trafford, there is the possibility he could be spending a lot of the season sitting on the bench.
Manchester City and Arsenal are set to battle it out for West Brom defender West Brom, according to the Daily Mail.
The Gunners reportedly had a £25 million bid turned down for the Northern Ireland international in August, with the Baggies demanding more than £30 million for their star defender.
West Brom have set Evans a deadline of January 28 to make up his mind whether he wants to stay at the Hawthorns or not.
With Per Mertesacker set to retire at the end of this season, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is prepared to move for Evans.
It would make sense for Evans to move to North London as he would be guaranteed a starting place at the Emirates Stadium.
Although Pep Guardiola has expressed an interest in the 30-year-old, he may not be guaranteed a starting place if he moved to the Etihad Stadium.
Arsenal hopes of landing Malcom have received a significant boost after Tottenham have pulled out of the race to sign the Bordeaux wonderkid, according to Daily Star.
Arsene Wenger considers the Brazilian as the best young player in Europe and wants to sign him next summer.
However, Bordeaux are believed to be looking for more than £55 million for the Brazilian star – a fee Arsenal would be unwilling to pay.
The 20-year-old has been one of the mainstays in a struggling Bordeaux side this season, scoring seven goals and providing four assists in 18 games.
Although his club are languishing in 15th place in Ligue 1, Malcom has been taking the league by storm with his glittering footwork and passing ability.
With Alexis Sanchez set to leave the club this month, Malcom could inject more class in an already star-studded attack.
Although £55 million is an expensive asking price, the North London hierarchy believe a fee of £33 million could be enough to get the deal over the line.
Arsene Wenger admitted Friday that Alexis Sanchez‘s future is up in the air as Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola stayed tight-lipped over potential moves for the forward during the January transfer window.
Guardiola’s bid to buy Sanchez collapsed at the end of the summer transfer window and Manchester City were favourites to land him this time around but the club are apparently unwilling to meet Arsenal‘s reported £35 million asking price.
Mourinho’s Manchester United are understood to have thrown their hat into the ring, bidding around £25 million to trump City’s £20 million offer as they seek to bolster their forward options and deny their bitter rivals.
When asked if United were interested in signing the 29-year-old Chilean international, who is out of contract at the end of the season, Wenger said “nothing is really concrete at the moment”.
Questioned as to whether there was any truth in the rumour, the Arsenal manager was coy.
“You conclude that,” he said. “You could say that at the moment… it’s not that I don’t want to inform you, I don’t want to give you wrong information and at the moment I must say nothing is decided one way or the other.”
Wenger admitted a bidding war could help Arsenal but said that was not the current situation.
In later press conferences on Friday, neither Guardiola nor Mourinho gave much away over a potential move for the Arsenal man.
Guardiola said his focus was on maintaining City’s fine form when they travel to Liverpool in the Premier League on Sunday.
“I understand completely why you ask this question (about Sanchez), it’s your job,” said Guardiola. “But you know my answer. I am focused on Liverpool.”
Mourinho, who described Sanchez as a “phenomenal player”, said: “I don’t know if it’s ethical or correct to be speaking about players of other clubs.”
“Sanchez is an Arsenal player,” he added. “Probably this weekend he is going to defend Arsenal colours so I don’t think it’s correct to say things about Alexis Sanchez.”
Arsenal boss Wenger said Sanchez would only be allowed to leave if they could get a new signing over the line — the club have been linked with young Bordeaux forward Malcom.
“Of course I want a quick resolution,” he told reporters at Arsenal’s north London training base.
“Is he (Sanchez) replaceable in the way that we find exactly the same player? Certainly not, but there’s always a way to find a different balance.
“Alexis is an exceptional football player, he’s a world-class player and if that happens (and he leaves) we have to find a different balance in the team.”
Theo Walcott is another Arsenal player poised to leave this month, with Everton manager Sam Allardyce revealing on Friday that they are hopeful of sealing a permanent deal.
Wenger said he does not want the 28-year-old to leave, but conceded he cannot guarantee the forward playing time and an unlikely route into Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the World Cup.