The Spor Toto Super League is set to have a bumper year after the signing of interanationally-renowned footballers such as Nani, Podolski and Eto'o joined the league, with possible other stars in the pipeline
Following the successful era of the 1990's and early 2000's during which Galatasaray won the UEFA Cup title and Turkey won third place at the 2002 World Cup, Turkish football has been experiencing a decline both in terms of local and international prestige. However, this decline may change trajectory in the 2015-16 season thanks to new blockbuster transfers. Turkish clubs are transferring world-famous football stars and hoping to win back the prestige they once enjoyed. In recent years Turkish football has failed to inspire the footballing-loving masses due to boring football, poor results in Europe and match-fixing and corruption scandals. But this season Istanbul giants Fenerbahçe and even the modest Anatolian club Antalyaspor have loosened their purses strings. The most active club in the transfer market is undoubtedly Fenerbahçe. The Yellow Canaries have signed Bursaspor's top scorer Fernandao and star defender Şener Özbayraklı. Both players were standout players in the Turkish league last season. And since then, Fenerbahçe have set their sights on bigger names in the transfer market. When they eyed Manchester United's star Nani, many football fans in Turkey mocked the club for being overly ambitious. But they succeeded in tempting the Portuguese winger as well as getting their hands on Danish star Simon Kjaer. Unstoppable Fener have also been linked to an even bigger star: Robin Van Persie. The Manchester United striker is edging closer to a move to Fenerbahçe after reaching an agreement in principle with the Super League side. Fenerbahçe's sporting director, Giuliano Terraneo, has been in England for the past two days, involved in negotiations with the English club to secure a deal. The two clubs are currently negotiating a fee for the 31-year-old, who has agreed personal terms with the club and is ready to sign a four-year deal.
Although it's not a reputable club, Antalyaspor, who were promoted to the Super League last year, pulled off a stunning transfer coup. They brought Cameroonian striker Samuel Eto'o to Turkey and made real an old joke. Eto'o had been the subject of a joke for a decade. The joke was: "Eto'o is done," meaning that the Eto'o's transfer is done. Some years ago, a Turkish TV commentator Oktay Derelioğlu said self-assuredly: "Eto'o (transfer) is done" And he repeated it several times. The transfer rumor, which was based on Derelioğlu's source, was not right and the Cameroonian did not come to Turkey. After that, "Eto'o is done" turned into a joke. It went viral and comical videos were made for websites like YouTube mocking the commentator. But Antalyaspor pulled off the transfer and brought Eto'o to Turkey. The Anatolian club has kept up its ambitions, going after former World Player of the Year Ronaldinho as well as former Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes. After the big transfers of their archrivals Fenerbahçe, Galatasaray were accused by their fans of remaining passive in the transfer market. Galatasaray's only transfer before the signing of Lukas Podolski was Bilal Kısa from Akhisar Belediyespor. As a result of the pressures from the fans, the Galatasaray administration had to buy Podolski despite financial difficulties. The German star celebrated his new deal by sipping a Turkish tea in front of the media.
Galatasaray were in the hunt for the 30-year-old forward back in 2012, but he elected to join Arsenal instead after the Gunners agreed an 11 million pound deal with German side Köln. Galatasaray are now trying to sign Dutch star Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.
Former Reading midfielder Jem Karacan has completed his move to Galatasaray on a free transfer, signing a three-year deal in Istanbul. The Turkey U23 international joined Reading in 2007 but left the Madejski last month after his contract expired. Galatasaray claimed their 20th league title last season, a success that guarantees them a place in the Champions League group stages. Meanwhile, Nigerian star Emmanuel Emenike, who became a target because of his poor performances while never getting along with the Fenerbahçe fans, has departed the Turkish league on loan for the rich Dubai league. The Arabian Gulf League champions have settled the deal with Fenerbahçe. "I am happy to make the move to Al Ain and I believe my legs will prove me right in the UAE," the Nigeria international told African-Football.com. His exit has been eased by Fenerbahçe's impending capture of Manchester United striker Robin van Persie.
Emenike joined Fenerbahce in 2011 for a record sum of $9 million dollars. He fell out of favor with the Fenerbahçe fans and he was constantly booed on the field of play whenever he featured for the team, which left a question mark over his performance and continuous stay at the club.