Istanbul powerhouse Fenerbahçe has parted ways with midfielder Mehmet Topal (above), the club announced in a statement yesterday. It said the player and the club mutually agreed to terminate his contract.
The 33-year-old had a contract until 2020 with the Süper Lig side he joined in 2012, after a two-year spell with Valencia. In a statement on social media, Topal reflected on his career and expressed his gratitude to Fenerbahçe club and its fans. "I will always cherish the striped uniform that I sweated for [for] seven years; which I won championships, titles in," he said. He scored three goals in 36 matches last season for Fenerbahçe, accumulating a total of 24 goals in 298 matches throughout the seven years with the club.
Soon after his departure was announced, 1. Lig outfit Fatih Karagümrük expressed interest in Topal. Club president Süleyman Hurma said they would bid for Topal's transfer. "He is a very successful, very special player. I'd be proud of having him playing for Fatih Karagümrük though top-tier clubs are interested in him as well. It seems difficult to sign him but we'd happy if he does. He can be a big brother for our players," Hurma told Anadolu Agency (AA). In related news, Fenerbahçe is expected to sign veteran Emre Belözoğlu, whose contract with Süper Lig outfit Medipol Başakşehir ended at the end of the season. Belözoğlu is currently on vacation and will reportedly sign with Fenerbahçe next month. The 38-year-old midfielder left Fenerbahçe for Başakşehir in 2015. He played in 24 matches this season and scored one goal.