Mario Gomez for Beşiktaş, Felipe Melo exiting Galatasaray and a record number of transfers for Fenerbahçe are among facts and rumors for Turkish teams' upcoming line-ups
Turkish teams gear up for the new season with new transfers hitting the headlines almost weekly. Though many turn out untrue, the rumor mill is enough to inject enthusiasm to fans.
The latest rumor concerns Mario Gomez, German striker of Italian Serie A side Fiorentina, who reportedly sealed a deal with Beşiktaş. No official announcement has been made by the Eagles, but Turkish media were quick to fuel speculation on the 30-year-old German international. The Turkish side reportedly considers Gomez able to fill the void that Senegalese star Demba Ba left after he moved to Chinese outfit Shanghai Shenhua. Gomez was claimed to have signed to Beşiktaş to the tune of 5.5 million euros in a two-year contract. Beşiktaş indeed is in search of a striker and was looking forward to signing Dutch star Robin Van Persie before Fenerbahçe made a move on the Dutchman first. Loic Remy was also considered, but new coach Şenol Güneş was reportedly not warm to the thought of hiring Chelsea's French striker for a hefty price tag of 15 million pounds. The Eagles also have pursued a transfer of Ricardo Quaresma. Beşiktaş President Fikret Orman has announced that they were "open" to talks with FC Porto winger Quaresma, who parted ways with the Eagles three years ago.
Liverpool was also looking to hire Gomez who suffered an unlucky season in Fiorentina due to injuries. He made only 47 appearances in his two years with the Italian side. Fiorentina coach Paulo Sousa told Italian media that Gomez was "working hard" and "a key player," and he was counting on keeping him on the team.
Gomez, who started his senior career with VfB Stuttgart, moved to Fiorentina from Bayern Munich. Although he scored only 14 goals during his time in Italy, Gomez is praised for his intuition to correctly position himself for passes and crosses ending up with goals.
The Eagles' main rival Galatasaray has also showed interest in Gomez, but they might settle for another player from Italy. The Lions set their sights on Gökhan İnler, a Swiss player of Turkish origin playing for Napoli, media reports say. The 31-year-old midfielder was reportedly also in talks with Fenerbahçe. İnler's agent told Turkish media he had another one-year contract with Napoli but might leave Napoli if Turkish sides make a good offer.
Gökhan İnler may replace Felipe Melo, the hot-tempered Brazilian midfielder of the Lions. Melo had revealed that two clubs from Brazil and three European clubs had expressed interest in him, but the offers were too low. Melo said he was looking forward to either returning home or to Europe where he played for Spanish and Italian clubs.
Fenerbahçe, meanwhile, boasts of wrapping up eight transfers in less than one month, a new record of the decade for the Yellow Canaries. The club enlisted Simon Kjaer, Şener Özbayraklı, Jose Fernandao, Abdoulaye Ba, Fabiano Ribeiro, Luis Nani, Josef de Souza and Robin van Persie, respectively, in 27 days, bringing a major change to its line-up, which saw only one addition last season. The influx of transfers came after the club hired Vitor Pereira, the experienced Portuguese sporting director.