Chelsea are leading Barcelona and Manchester United in the chase for Atletico Madrid’s Arda Turan, according to reports from Spain.
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The Turkey international’s agent, Ahmet Bulut, revealed earlier in the week that his client would be leaving the Estadio Vicente Calderon this summer, and had singled out the Premier League as the new ‘path’ that the midfielder wishes to take in his career [via Sky Sports].
Following his representative’s comments, over the past week the Atleti playmaker has been heavily linked to Chelsea and Manchester United, while Barcelona later emerged in the transfer race, talkSPORT reported.
talkSPORT suggested that the La Liga BBVA giants were poised to beat the English duo to the signing of the 28-year-old; however, the reports have been rubbished in Spain.
Spanish radio station Cadena SER today discussed the speculation linking Turan to the Camp Nou, and quashed suggestions that he could replace club legend Xavi Hernandez – describing the former Spain international as irreplaceable in the heart of Luis Enrique’s midfield.
What’s more, according to AS, the Premier League remains Turan’s favoured destination.
AS also claim that United have agreed to pay his release-clause, but that Diego Simeone’s No.10 would prefer a transfer to the English champions.
In 42 club appearances, the Turkey captain scored three goals and registered six assists last season – quite uninspiring for a playmaker with a sizeable buy-out clause of £29.2m [via the Metro] – yet, as reports suggest, it doesn’t appear to have deterred significant interest in his signature.
Chelsea’s top scorer last season, Diego Costa, on Friday spoke of his wish for Turan to join him at Stamford Bridge next season.
The duo played together for three seasons under Simeone, before Jose Mourinho lured Costa to west London just over 12 months ago, and the striker is hoping for a reunion.
“It would be fantastic. Arda makes everything so much easier out on the pitch. Arda, Filipe (Luis) and I function perfectly,” said Costa, as quoted by the Daily Mail.
“And Arda is such a great person. He invited us to eat at his house many times; I really liked his kebab. The whole team would go round to his house for dinner.”