With all the millions and millions swirling around football every summer, it clearly doesn’t pay for either players or agents to be completely up front about what’s going on behind the scenes while transfers are being conducted.
Take Barcelona’s Brazilian right-back Dani Alves. Reports from Spain stated that the 32-year-old was set to join Manchester United at the start of last month, after accusing the Catalan giants of lacking respect.
At the end of May, Alves was quoted saying:
“I am with the team 200 per cent but with the board, about 10 per cent – as it is, I have one foot, half a body and almost my head out of the club.”
Two weeks later, having pocketed a third Champions League winners’ medal with Barcelona, he signed on at the Camp Nou for another two years.
It’s possible Arda Turan’s agent Ahmed Bulut is playing a similar game with Atletico Madrid, after news broke that the 29-year-old wishes to leave the Vicente Calderon this summer following four fruitful seasons in the Spanish capital.
Here are Bulut’s rather cryptic comments from Monday:
“We will not make a formal announcement until he signs. Arda will decide where he wants to play next season in the next four days. Our decision to leave Atlético was a big shock to them, they didn’t want Arda to go.”
To be fair to Team Turan, they sound somewhat more committed to leaving than even Alves was, and clearly haven’t looked to draw the process out over a significant period of time, but Bulut’s timeline leaves us guessing for a couple of days at least.
A veritable Who’s Who of the continent’s biggest-spending outfits are reportedly out of the woodwork following this development, with Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona all credited with an interest.
However, the word on the streets of Rumourville is that Premier League champions Chelsea are in pole position to land the midfield all-rounder, who has scored 22 times and laid on 32 assists in 178 Los Colchoneros fixtures since signing from Galatasaray in 2011.
That being said, the black and yellow boys at bwin.com have Jose Mourinho’s side as 6/4 second favourites to be Turan’s employers by September 4th behind 11/20 jollies Barcelona, with Man Utd 11/1, Liverpool and PSG both 16/1 and Manchester City 20/1.
For punters who believe this is an Alves-style ruse to get more money out of Atleti, you can have 8/1 about Turan staying put.