Turkish superstar Arda Turan looks set for a return to his homeland in the January transfer window, having enjoyed very little game time at Barcelona since the arrival of current manager Ernesto Valverde.
Turan, who arrived at the Nou Camp from title rivals Atletico Madrid in 2015, has become the forgotten man amongst Valverde’s new look Barca, and is believed to have no future at the club.
A shining light in Atleti’s shock La Liga title win in the 2013-14 season, Turan made the move to Barcelona after the following season with his stock still high and for a substantial fee – around 35 million euros.
Turan had to wait six months to make his debut for Los Cules due to the transfer embargo that Barca were under at the time but, after choosing the number seven shirt, he finally made his debut in a January 2016 Copa del Rey tie against Catalan rivals Espanyol.
Under Luis Enrique, Turan was utilized when rotation was necessary and one of the deadly ‘MSN’ front three needed resting. Despite the departure of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer and the long-term injury to his replacement Ousmane Dembele, Turan has found himself all but frozen out by new manager Ernesto Valverde.
And with news emerging in recent days of strong Barca interest in RB Leipzig sensation Timo Werner, as well as their continued interest in Liverpool No.10 Phillipe Coutinho, Turan’s time at the early La Liga pacesetters looks at an end.
Controversy has never been far away from Arda Turan in his career and after an alleged assault against Turkish journalist Bilal Mese following a national team fixture against Macedonia, he stated that he had no desire to continue playing for Turkey. It did not take him long to change his mind, however, and he recently returned to make his 100th appearance for his country.
A return to Turkey looks the most likely option for Turan, with strong interest from Istanbul giants Galatasaray, the club with which Turan started his career. Having been club captain at an early age before leaving to join Atletico Madrid, Turan has previously stated his desire to return to the club.
Reports in the English press also suggest interest from two London clubs – Arsenal and Chelsea. Turan had apparently agreed to join the latter in the summer, but the North London club could not agree on a fee with Barcelona for the Turkey captain.
Chelsea, after their humbling defeat to Roma in midweek, are in desperate need of some more creativity and manager Antonio Conte is thought to be keen on Turan as a potential solution.