Atletico Madrid are a curious club. Having been mired in financial troubles throughout their recent history, they have consistently punched well above their weight , particularly under the management of Diego Simeone. Each summer the club loses some of its superstars , but display amazing powers of recovery to come back fighting next season. For Fernando Torres to Liverpool,read Sergio Aguero to Manchester City or Radamel Falcao to AS Monaco. No other club in Europe provides better testament to the age old adage that The team is more important than a player.
This summer it is seemingly the turn of 28-year-old attacking midfielder Arda Turan to part company with the Vicente Calderon after four years of stellar service to the Red half of Madrid. There was interest from all over Europe for the experienced Turkish International , with several heavyweights including Manchester United , Chelsea and Barcelona touted as potential destinations.
However, it now appears that it is the Blaugrana who have won the race for his services after his agent revealed to Sport that the player has an agreement to join Barcelona and the deal is expected to go through soon. Barcelona also later confirmed the news on their official twitter account.
This news will come as a big blow for the Blues as well as the Red Devils , who were both hoping to lure the player to their respective clubs. Turan was expected to move to the English shores having previously stated his desire to play in the Premier League.
The AS had earlier claimed that the player had a release clause of €41 million and it is widely tipped that Barcelona opted to meet that value to bring Turan to the Camp Nou before interest from the Premier League turned into formal offers.
The situation is a confounding one for most neutrals as Turan cannot play a competitive game for the Blaugrana until the transfer ban that the club is currently under lifts in January 2016. He has an option of playing with the reserves until the winter break and then rejoin the squad once the transfer embargo is uplifted. Same is the plight of Aleix Vidal who joined from Sevilla earlier in the summer.
Another would be to go out on loan to Atletico or some other club in order to retain match fitness and rejoin Barcelona in January. The future is shrouded in mystery for the club’s newest recruit and a decision is expected in the coming days.
Meanwhile, Cules all over the world can start celebrating the arrival of a world class player with bags of experience to their club. Where he fits into the team will be a debate for another day. Capable of operating in multiple positions, Turan has been touted as a replacement for Pedro by some, while others have deemed his signing as a cover for the ageing legs of Andres Iniesta.
Whatever his future role in the team, Barca fans can be rest assured of one thing – They have landed a player who is a born winner and will wear his heart on his sleeve for his new club.
As it goes in Catalunya :
“Més que un club“.