Turkish football clubs have had a busy off-season so far, working to keep up with the European transfer market and amid a flurry of transfers, French international Gael Clichy and Real Madrid's Portuguese defender Pepe made headlines after both moved to Turkey for massive transfer fees despite their age.
Earlier this week, defender Pepe, 34, reached a two-year, 9.5-million euro deal with Super League champions Beşiktaş.
Meanwhile, on Friday, former Arsenal and Manchester City defender Clichy moved to Istanbul after agreeing on a three-year, 1.7-million euro contract with last season's runner-ups Medipol Başakşehir.
Clichy has been a free agent since June after a lackluster streak of only 30 league appearances in the last two seasons. The Başakşehir move has brought his fourteen-year-old English Premier League career to an end.
Talking to media, the French international said that he believed he made the right decisions by moving to Başakşehir's "project".
"Başakşehir are a club on the up. They missed on winning the cup last season in the last minutes of the final. I have played with the likes of Viera and Henry in England and helped teams win titles. When I met Başakşehir executives, I felt I was in the right place. It is like a smaller Manchester City and they have every means to success. They have picked the right players for the job and they are taking risks," he said.
He said it would be a major change for him to move to Turkey, after fourteen years in England.
"This is a big adventure and I hope it will continue more than three years," he said.
He confirmed interests from other Turkish clubs, namely Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray, Başakşehir's two main rivals.
"Galatasaray were more interested. But, I saw how Başakşehir was eager to take me in when all their executives came to meet me ahead of the negotiations and I made my mind," he said.
Başakşehir, after finishing last season in the second-place, will try to grab a Champions League group stage spot next season.
They have also signed up 30-year-old left-winger Eljero Elia from Feyenoord.
In the meantime, big European clubs, including Manchester City, are knocking on Başakşehir's door for their wonder kid Cengiz Ünder, who had a breakout season and managed to be a regular on the Turkish national squad.
Elsewhere, Fenerbahçe, coming off a disappointing 2016-17 season, have retained their veteran goalkeeper Volkan Demirel and re-signed left-back Hasan Ali Kaldırım. They have also welcomed 33-year-old Cameroonian goalkeeper Carlos Idriss Kameni and Monaco's breakout Moroccan star Nabil Dirar.
Fenerbahçe's archrivals Galatasaray have also made some significant changes after a below-par season.
The team first cut ties with their longtime right-back Sabri Sarıoğlu, after almost 16 years, lost Lukas Podolski to Japanese club, Vissel Kobe, before signing up Batefimbi Gomis, Younes Belhanda, and Maicon.Local media reports claimed Galatasaray were also interested in signing Algerian right-winger Sofiane Feghouli from English club West Ham United.
The summer transfer window remains open until Sept. 8.
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