Winger Rachid Ghezzal is set to leave Leicester City and sign permanent terms with Besiktas after impressing on loan with the Turkish club.
The 29-year-old spent a second consecutive season away from King Power Stadium on loan in 2020-2021. And it turned out to be an inspired move, with the Algeria international enjoying 30 top-flight starts. He bagged eight goals and an incredible 18 assists to prompt the Istanbul giants to look for a permanent deal.
The French-born wide man claimed the Super Lig title with the Black Eagles and will play in next season’s Champions League. The two clubs have yet to come to an agreement on his price tag. But the player’s father had made it clear that the former Lyon star will be returning to Vodafone Park.
Mohamed Ghezzal told Fanatik (via Sport Witness): “My son is very happy in Besiktas. They will compete in the Champions League this season.
“Ghezzal will 100% continue his career at Besiktas. We expect the transfer to be completed in a short time.”
But Besiktas were not the only club from Istanbul to show an interest.
“After my son’s performance this season, Galatasaray also made an offer to us,” his father added.
However, he went on to say that “it is very difficult for him to go to another team (in Turkey) after this time” at Besiktas.
Ghezzal move makes sense for all concerned
Things have not worked out for the former Monaco player in the East Midlands. He was handed eight starts among 19 Premier League outings in 2018-2019, scoring one goal.
But he was deemed surplus to requirements the following season and loaned to Fiorentina. La Viola offered him similar game time to the Foxes, with 19 Serie A appearances and nine starts.
But he seems to have found his home in Turkey and has blossomed into a top-class creative player for Sergen Yalcin. Leicester fans never got the chance to see the best of Ghezzal and sometimes a face just does not fit.
That seems to have been the case with the man capped 19 times by Algeria. But Brendan Rodgers’ side should receive a decent fee when the deal is completed.
The Northern Irishman has already competed the signing of midfielder Boubakary Soumare from Lille. And striker Patson Daka has arrived from RB Salzburg, with Leicester looking to go one better and secure a top-four berth next term.
The 2015-16 Premier League champions will begin their season against Manchester City in the Community Shield on August 7. And their league campaign gets under way a week later at home to Wolves.