Tuesday 23 January 2018

Blow for Manchester United as Barca close in on Turan

Atletico Madrid midfielder Arda Turan
Atletico Madrid midfielder Arda Turan

Barcelona presidential candidate Josep Maria Bartomeu has given his blessing for the club's interim management to sign Atletico Madrid's wantaway midfielder Arda Turan.

Catalan-based sports newspaper El Mundo Deportivo reported last week that Barca's interim management had decided to postpone the signing of the player until the club's presidential elections are held on July 18.

The 28-year-old is also wanted by English Premier League clubs, however, and a delay could see the Catalan team miss out on a player deemed to be Barca coach Luis Enrique's primary target this summer.

Bartomeu, who stepped down as president last month in order for the election campaign to begin, said to El Mundo Deportivo: "(Barca coach) Luis Enrique has won everyone's confidence and he deserved that they listen to him in signing Arda Turan, who is a great player.

"I tell the interim management as a candidate to the presidency that I have no problem if Arda Turan is signed as requested by Luis Enrique."

Turan has two years left on his contract at Atletico and reports in Spain claim that Turan, whose buyout clause is 41million euros, would join Barcelona on an initial fee of 34million euros with a further seven million euros in variables.

Should Turan's move to the Nou Camp materialise, the Turkish midfielder would not be able to play an official game for Barca until January 2016 due to a transfer ban imposed by FIFA on the club for breaching rules over the signings of under-age players.

That ban has not stopped Barca, who are coming off a campaign that saw them win the Primera Division, Copa del Rey and Champions League, from already adding Spanish winger Aleix Vidal last month on a permanent transfer from Sevilla.

Turan's arrival would strengthen Barca's midfield line following the departure of veteran captain Xavi Hernandez this summer.

Xavi joined Qatari outfit Al Sadd at the end of the season after 24 years with the Catalan giants.

Turan has plenty of experience in La Liga.

He joined Atletico from Galatasaray in 2011 and has made 127 appearances for the Rojiblancos.

Turan won the Europa League title with Atletico in his first season before clinching the Copa del Rey in the 2012-13 campaign.

The following season saw Turan score three goals and set up four more in 30 league appearances as Atletico won their first Spanish league title in 18 years.

Turan started in 28 league games as Atletico finished third in the 2014-15 La Liga to qualify for next season's Champions League.

Atletico begin pre-season training on Wednesday while Barca return to work six days later.

Press Association

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