Arsenal are going up against their north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the race for Galatasaray rising star Kerem Akturkoglu, according to a report.
Akturkoglu has been gaining prominence in Turkey over the past couple of seasons. After scoring 20 goals from 30 games in the Turkish fourth tier in 2019-20, Galatasaray proceeded to snap him up to play in the top tier.
He has adapted well, scoring six times from 29 appearances and adding three assists in his debut season with the club. Then, this season, he has progressed further with 11 goals and 10 assists from 46 appearances.
Under a long-term contract until 2026 with Galatasaray, Akturkoglu is beginning to make other European clubs take note of his potential.
But it is the Gunners who look more likely to make a move. In fact, it is said they will try to sign him for €20m (£16.65m) when the summer transfer window opens.
Akturkoglu generally plays on the left wing, so would represent competition for Gabriel Martinelli. Alternatively, he could take the Brazilian’s place in that role if Martinelli moves more central.
Galatasaray have played in the Europa League this season, reaching the Round of 16. Therefore, Akturkoglu has earned his first taste of the appropriate experience for if Arsenal qualify for Europe.
Mikel Arteta’s men missed out for this season but look on course to get back in continental competition in 2022-23.
Arsenal face competition for Akturkoglu
But to make sure they win the race for Akturkoglu, they must fend off competition from their closest rivals Tottenham, who have also shortlisted him.
And it is not only Spurs; Akturkoglu is also on the radars of Atletico Madrid in LaLiga, Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga and Lyon in Ligue 1.
The interest from all those clubs, in addition to Arsenal, became apparent last month. Now, it seems the Gunners are the ones to have been developing their potential plans.
After becoming a full Turkey international last year and amassing eight caps, it seems the former Istanbul Basaksehir youth player will be continuing his rise in the coming years.
Arsenal may be the ones to benefit from that course of growth.