Turkish top flight club Fenerbahce said the transfer of Manchester United’s Robin van Persie is a done deal and the Dutch striker will arrive in Istanbul this weekend, reports said Saturday.
Fenerbahce chairman Aziz Yildirim said that negotiations had been completed late Friday and the player would be arriving in Istanbul on a private flight late on Sunday.
“We worked very hard, until midnight. We received five faxes, sent six faxes and finally it was finished,” Yildirim was quoted as saying by the Fanatik sports daily and Hurriyet newspaper.
“The van Persie transfer is done and one more star has joined the Fenerbahce constellation,” he added.
Yildirim’s comments appeared to set to rest last minute speculation that van Persie could stay at United or even join Fenerbahce’s Istanbul rivals Besiktas.
After arriving Sunday at Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen airport, van Persie will officially sign his contract at the club’s stadium on Monday, Turkish press reports said.
According to press reports, his transfer fee will be 4.7 million euros (A?3.4m, $5.2m).
Fenerbahce — runners up to hated Istanbul rivals Galatasaray last season in the championship — have gone on a spending spree in a bid to dominate the Super Lig and be a real contender in Europe.
This week, Fenerbahce signed Portuguese star Nani also from United for six million euros (A?4.26m, $6.7m) and in June bought Danish centre-back Simon Kjaer from French side Lille.
Turkish press reports said van Persie may not represent the end of Fenerbahce’s ambition, with the club eyeing Chelsea’s Brazilian midfielder Ramires and even van Persie’s fellow countryman Arjen Robben of Bayern Munich.
Yildirm acknowledged for the first time that the club had also wanted to sign Real Madrid’s Spain international goalkeeper Iker Casillas.
But Casillas could be heading to Portuguese side FC Porto and Fenerbahce’s first choice keeper next season is expected to be Brazilian Fabiano, who has arrived on loan from Porto.
Fenerbahce’s flurry of transfer market activity is being masterminded by its well-respected new Italian sporting director Giuliano Terraneo who arrived in May on a mission to make the club a European football force.