Besiktas manager Abdullah Avci has explained to the Turkish media why they didn’t sign Southampton’s Mario Lemina and instead went for Arsenal’s Mohamed Elneny.

Lemina was strongly linked with a move to the Super Lig club in the final weeks of the window but the Southampton player instead signed for their local rivals Galatasaray on a season long loan deal.

Due to his problems at the Saints the former Juventus midfielder was looking for a way out of St Mary’s, with a number of clubs reported to be interested in him.

Speaking about Lemina, Avci said, via Futbol Arena, that they struggled to receive information about the midfielder: “We looked at him and thought he could be a good player, but we had very limited information about the player. We tried to get some information but at the time, that was very hard.”

With regards to Elneny, he revealed, via Asist Analiz: “We did our research about the situation with the player. In fact, Arsenal’s head of fitness is my friend from my days with the Turkish national team. He told me all the details about Elneny. After that, we decided to sign the player.”

With the competition for places in Arsenal’s midfield it always seemed likely the Egyptian international would exit the Emirates and now he has the chance to get regular football with Besiktas. The 27 year old made his debut for his new club at the weekend.