Liverpool have been handed a boost in their hopes of signing Turkish defender Caner Erkin after Fenerbahce’s vice-president declared he was free to leave the club.
Both Liverpool and Everton have been credited with interest in the player since the January transfer window, and it appears that Erkin will definitely be leaving Turkey.
Inter Milan have also been linked with the player, who manager Roberto Mancini will have knowledge of from his time as Galatasaray manager.
The left-back joined Fenerbahce in 2010 from CSKA Moscow, and has played 27 games in all competitions scoring one goal and bagging eight assists.
However contract talks between Erkin and Fenerbahce never materialised, with the 27-year-old perhaps always intent on leaving the club.
“His departure was not something the directors wanted, but the FIFA rules allow a player to sign a new contract with a different club in the final six months of his current deal,” Fenerbahce Vice-President Mahmut Uslu stated.
“This new deal will be valid from July, when his current contract expires. He can sign for whoever he wants, whether it is Inter or Besiktas.”
Reports last week from Italian outlet Tuttomercatoweb suggested that the Turkish international had already held a secret medical with Inter ahead of a proposed move.
Speaking to UEFA, Erkin admitted his mind will still focused on domestic success ahead of the upcoming European Championships.
“I am going to play at the EUROs for the first time, but first of all I am focusing on winning the title with my club. After that, there is a process in terms of preparing myself [for the tournament].
“At the moment we are thinking about it, whether we want to or not. One part of our minds is there. From my perspective, I am really excited about getting there.”