Galatasaray are reported to have joined Besiktas in the race to take Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny to Turkey, but neither have had any luck.
While the transfer window has closed in England and most of Europe’s major leagues, clubs in Turkey can still make signings until September 8th. It could provide several players with an interesting route to consider. Elneny is one of those to have come under consideration by Super Lig sides.
The Egypt international previously spent the 2019-20 season on loan at Besiktas from Arsenal, who originally signed him from Swiss side Basel in 2016.
Elneny made 36 appearances with Besiktas, before playing 41 times upon his return to Arsenal last season. He has featured once in the Premier League and once in the EFL Cup so far this term.
But doubts have been raised over his future at the Emirates Stadium due to interest from Turkey. A report on Thursday revealed that Besiktas wanted a deal done by the end of that day so they could add him to their Champions League squad list.
It was claimed that they had lodged an official offer, but by the weekend, Elneny remains on Arsenal’s books.
In fact, it seems he may do until January at least. According to Milliyet, not only have Besiktas’ efforts to sign him fallen through, but so has a rival attempt from Galatasaray.
The Turkish outlet claims Besiktas failed to find an agreement with Elneny despite being in negotiations. Therefore, they signed Miralem Pjanic on loan from Barcelona instead.
As for Galatasaray, they supposedly contacted Arsenal and learned that the Premier League club are open to a sale. Elneny is out of contract at the end of the season, so the Gunners may prefer to cash in while they can.
But it will seemingly not be Galatasaray who give them that money. The report adds that last season’s runners up in the Turkish top flight have also had to pull out due to Elneny’s wage demands.
The 29-year-old wanted a four-year contract worth €2.5m per season, which was beyond Galatasaray’s reach. Therefore, the club president has told his talent spotters to look for cheaper solutions.
Where that leaves Elneny remains to be seen. It seems he is set to fulfil the final year of his Arsenal contract, unless another option emerges for him in January. Even then, he could sign a pre-contract agreement with a foreign club and stay with Arsenal until his deal expires.
He has made a total of 132 appearances for the Gunners over the years, providing eight assists and five goals.
But he faces a battle to match as many as he made last season. There is competition from Granit Xhaka, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Thomas Partey in the defensive midfield role.
Even so, it seems he is staying for the fight.
Edu honest on Arsenal struggles
It has not been a positive start to the season for Arsenal. They are winless and goalless from their opening three Premier League games.
Some relief came with a 6-0 drubbing of West Brom in the Carabao Cup. But the pressure is ramping up on coach Mikel Arteta regardless.
Technical director Edu has also come under the spotlight due to their disappointing transfer record in recent years.
While aware of the situation, though, Edu has urged critics not to rush into judgements.
The Brazilian told Sky Sports: “We suffered last year because we lost a lot of players and we didn’t really have good back-ups to play games.
“I believe we need a squad to win games. We need a squad to be in a good position at the end of the season because it is not only about the first XI. We need a foundation.
“Of course, it has hurt us to be in that situation. We are hurt, I am hurt. I don’t want to see the club there, but I want to see the team playing together. Let’s judge the team when they play together.
“Why are a few clubs around the Premier League just signing one or two players? It’s because they already have the foundation. They already have the team prepared. I’m sorry, but the reality is we don’t.
“I understand the pressure. I understand the pressure on me, Mikel, the board and the club because the situation we are in now is not acceptable.
“But now is the moment for everybody to be together and I would like to see people step forward in difficult moments and take the responsibility. I am responsible for what we are doing.”