Arda Turan has signed for Barcelona for an initial fee of £24m. The move is a result of 4 successful seasons at Atletico Madrid, in which he scored 22 goals, as well as assisting 32 times. The attacking midfielder prefers to play on the left, where he can regularly cut inside and shoot with his favoured right foot.
Arda Turn Signs
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) July 6, 2015
The 28 year old playmaker is the most expensive player in the history of Turkish football. Initially earning the title in 2011 when Atletico Madrid signed him from Galatasaray for €12m, he has now more than doubled that record with his move to the Catalan giants.
Turan has 81 international caps, with his greatest achievement for his country coming in 2008, when Turkey reached the semi-finals of the European Championships. Turkey were knocked out in the last 4 by losing finalists Germany, but Turan managed to score two goals along the way against hosts Switzerland and Czech Republic.
Barcelona Transfer Ban
In August 2014, Barcelona were found guilty of breaching FIFA regulations on the transfers of players under the age of 18. These players were signed by the Catalan club between 2009 and 2013 and participated in competition.
Barcelona appealed the ban, resulting in the ban being uplifted whilst FIFA responded to the appeal. During this time, Barcelona took full advantage of the situation, signing Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Claudio Bravo, Thomas Vermaelen, Jeremy Mathieu and Alen Halilovic for a combined fee of over 150m euros.
This summer, the same trick couldn’t be pulled again, meaning that Barcelona couldn’t appeal the ban again and go on a spending spree in the meantime. Instead, all of Barcelona’s signings this summer will be unable to play until January, when the transfer embargo is lifted. Turan admits that 6 months without competitive football will be a struggle for him, and even when the embargo is lifted it is not guarenteed that he will get a starting position in the team. He is likely to be challenging Rakitic for a place in the starting 11, or replacing Pedro as the club’s 4th choice attacker behind the irreplaceable MSN (Messi, Suarez, Neymar) combination.
Despite the transfer embargo and competition from Manchester United and Chelsea for his signature, the Turkish international joins Barcelona on a five-year deal. However, there is currently a presidential campaign under-way for the Catalans, so there is a clause in the deal that means that if the new president opposes the signing of Turan they can return him to the Vincente Calderon at a 10% loss. This provides Chelsea striker Diego Costa with a glimmer of hope of bringing his former team-mate to Stamford bridge. Costa has publicly admitted he would love to see Turan join Chelsea, not only because he is a fantastic player, but also because he makes great kebabs according to the Spain striker.