Yet another Atletico Madrid player is rumoured to be on the move – and yet again he is being linked with Chelsea. Turkish winger Arda Turan, it’s being reported, may well be sold to a Premier League club to help fund the purchase of Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla by the Spanish side.
The luxuriantly bearded Turan is an unhappily familiar sight for Blues fans. He played superbly in the UEFA Super Cup match against us in 2012, setting up a goal for Radamel Falcao – and scored himself in Atletico’s 3-1 win at Stamford Bridge in last season’s Champions League semi-final. Buying him would at least mean he’d be unlikely to repeat those feats for the near future.
It’s claimed Atletico hope to raise something close to the £33million figure that it’s thought is the sum stipulated as a release clause in his contract. That would leave them with more than enough to offer somewhere around £18-20 million to Arsenal for Cazorla, who found himself somewhat sidelined at the Emirates Stadium after the arrival of Mesut Ozil.
Atletico do need to sell if they are to splash out for someone like Cazorla, despite them already offloading what seems like about half their team to Chelsea. The money from Diego Costa and Filipe Luis, if both deals go through, will disappear on bringing in replacements and bringing down the horrendous level of debt the club have historically burdened itself with.
An obvious way of raising revenue would be to sell off the much-coveted Koke, but Atletico have ruled that out, along with any deal for their star Uruguayan defender Diego Godin. Which leaves them short of valuable assets to cash in on. And so Turan enters the equation.
Turan is a highly gifted winger whose time at Atletico under Diego Simeone has turned him from a brilliant individualist into a hard-working team player. He’s become a permanent fixture of Simeone’s team and was vital to them winning the Spanish title and reaching the Champions League final.
That said, he seems an unlikely purchase for Chelsea, who are well served in that area, especially since the arrival of Mohamed Salah. The club’s priorities appear to be strikers, central midfielders and centre-backs – so while Turan would be a good buy, and would represent an improvement in the quality of the squad, he isn’t £33 million-worth of improvement. Chelsea can spend their money more wisely elsewhere.
Having said that, it’s also being reported that Turan is being touted to Manchester United and Liverpool – and it’s not hard to see him making an impression at either club. Both tend to use the wings more than Chelsea do, and both can probably afford to pay what Atletico are asking for – unless of course they spend their transfer kitties elsewhere. United seem hell-bent on paying fortunes for players they don’t really need, like Luke Shaw, while Liverpool are busy snapping up every other Southampton star.
From a Chelsea fan’s point of view, it would be good if Turan fails to end up at either. The thought of him hurting the Blues again, as he has done in the last two seasons, isn’t an easy one to contemplate.