When a player is leaving Turkey, there’s a pretty good chance the Turkish media will be first with the claims. For example, when Gokhan Tore moved from Besiktas to West Ham on loan there were Turkish reports of his shirt number before it was taken seriously in England.
It’s often the same when players move to Turkey, huge excitement builds in the Turkish media and before long there’s talk of done deals, and airports preparing for the arriving hero.
The problem is it’s often wrong. Like media around the world, the Turkish press call a large amount of transfers incorrectly, and do so very excitedly.
Marouane Fellaini to Galatasaray is the latest rumour, within a day it went from interest to agreed personal terms to claims the player has signed a contract. Manchester United fans were led to believe that in Turkey the biggest sports story is Fellaini being on his way to Galatasaray, but that simply isn’t the case.
The Turkish media have still been in ‘Galatasaray have signed Fernando’ mode, and are backtracking a little after the Manchester City player dismissed things being that far.
Fellaini to *insert club here* has long been a favoured rumour in Turkey. He’s a big star, it’s thought he’d be interested in a move to the country, and it’s believed he could be available.
Every window there are claims Fellaini is leaving Manchester United for Turkey, and it’s often quite entertaining. In May, it was reported Trabzonspor were making a video about their club to convince Fellaini to sign.
This time, things have been taken a step closer. Galatasaray officials confirming interest in Fellaini isn’t huge, that happens with Turkish clubs repeatedly, and more often than not leads to nothing, but it is something.
A-Spor say they’ve spoken to Fellaini’s agent Özkan Dogan, who has confirmed agreement on a five year contract. Given Fellaini turns 30 years of age in November, that’s a huge commitment from Galatasaray, but the agent also said there’s no agreement between Manchester United and the Turkish club.
Close followers of Fellaini may be wondering who Özkan Dogan is, the player’s agent has previously been given as Luciano D’Onofrio, and others, and it’s felt at times like middlemen trying to build a Fellaini deal to present to those actually involved.
Özkan Dogan certainly isn’t someone linked repeatedly to Fellaini in Belgium, or elsewhere for that matter. He isn’t listed as Fellaini’s agent and Fellaini isn’t listed among his clients.
The Turkish agent could be trying to build a deal, but may be being given a higher standing than what he actually has within the Fellaini circle. It seems very much like someone, or several people, at the Turkish end are trying to make this transfer happen.
Whether that will then see Manchester United accept a transfer fee, and Galatasaray, continually in a serious FFP struggle, agree to high wages on a five year contract, plus the fee, is quite another thing.
Perhaps strangely, despite it being such a big deal on Saturday, Fellaini to Galatsaray is hardly mentioned in the many pages of transfer reporting in Turkey’s Sunday newspapers.
Galatasaray wanting Fellaini is believable, them making outline efforts to find out the cost of a transfer is also believable, as is Fellaini being keen on a deal which takes him close to 35 years of age.
Should this go further then the likeliest steps would be Galatasaray submitting a low offer, and even exploring the option of a loan despite Fellaini’s contract status (loans are very much in fashion in Turkey this summer), and then trying to find a realistic personal terms agreement, regardless of claims that’s already being agreed.
There’s a feeling in Turkey that Fellaini links are to pressure Osmanlıspor over Badou Ndiaye, a midfielder Galatasaray have been trying to sign. Many fans of the Turkish club would prefer Ndiaye, despite the star factor that Fellaini would bring.
Fatih Terim is rumoured to be set for a role at Galatasaray after his exit as Turkey’s national manager, and he’d prefer the club recruit from inside the country.