One of Arsenal’s long time transfer targets is rumored to be unsettled at Barcelona. The Gunners have now joined the race alongside Fenerbahce and Borussia Dormund to land his signature.
Former Atletico Madrid hero Arda Turan completed his dream move to Barcelona in the summer of 2015. The Catalan giants paid €34 million up front, with an additional €7 million in conditional bonuses. However, due to the circumstances of Barca’s transfer ban, Turan only made his debut in January, 2016. It was an underwhelming half of the season for him though, as the Turk made only nine La Liga starts for Barcelona and was mostly relegated to a position on the bench. He still managed to notch up two goals and three assists.
Turan is finding it difficult to fit into the Barcelona philosophy after arriving from the completely different tactical regime implemented at Atletico Madrid. The preferred midfield trio of Andres Iniesta, Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets are unlikely to change, and the lack of game-time has prompted the 29-year-old midfielder to consider a move away from the Camp Nou. Barcelona are also willing to offload him to fund their other transfer activities.
Borussia Dortmund and Turkish Superlig club Fenerbahce are interested in signing Turan, and now Premier League giants Arsenal have expressed an interest in the Turkish captain, as per reports in Spain. [via: The Sun]
Arsenal were in the race to sign Turan in 2015 as well, but the then Atletico player opted to sign for Barcelona instead. Turan is very highly rated and at 29 years of age, is at the peak of his footballing career. He would bring with him plenty of experience and leadership ability as well, something the Gunners have lacked this past season.
However, the pursuit of Arda Turan adds further fuel to the rumors that Arsenal’s Chilean midfielder Alexis Sanchez could be on the way out. Both Sanchez and Turan are most comfortable playing on the left side of attacking midfield and neither of them would be willing to play a bit part role next season. But it is important to note that Sanchez has played in a right midfield role for Arsenal this past season, and he could be put in that position by manager Arsene Wenger to accommodate Turan. A midfield trio of Sanchez, Turan and play-maker Mesut Ozil would definitely be one to look out for next season.