Carlo Ancelotti can discover Everton’s new Mikel Arteta with a £17m swoop for Fenerbahce’s in-demand midfielder Ozan Tufan this summer.
According to Ajansspor, the Toffees have joined the race to sign Tufan as Fenerbahce strive to use the upcoming European Championships as a chance to drive up his market value.
Tufan has suitors across Europe, with five sides already launching official approaches to sound out the 26-year-old’s potential availability.
As well as Everton, Crystal Palace and Leicester City are understood to be keen on bringing Tufan to the Premier League at the end of the season, but they could face competition from Bundesliga outfit SV Werder Bremen and La Liga’s Real Sociedad.
Fenerbahce are said to see Euro 2020 as their chance to earn €20m (£17m) through Tufan’s sale, should he have a good tournament, having decided to sell him in order to raise funds for potential arrivals.
Tufan has conveyed desires to one day play in the Premier League, noting ahead of Turkey’s 2-2 draw with Latvia on Tuesday: “The place I want to play is the English Premier League. I want to see myself there.”
Tufan’s move to Crystal Palace in 2018 broke down as the Eagles were forced to change their plans at the eleventh hour, when an injury to Bakary Sako left the Selhurst Park natives scrambling to strengthen Roy Hodgson’s offensive options.
Had it not been for the late blow, Tufan would likely already be playing in the Premier League as the midfielder was all set to fly to England. Now, Ancelotti should see that his opportunity comes at Goodison Park to land Everton’s potential new Arteta.
Everton may face strong competition in the race to snap up Tufan in the off-season, with Fanatik citing Liverpool as scouting the 26-year-old whilst he delivered a Man of the Match performance with two goals against Norway last Saturday.
Winning the race could see Ancelotti acquire a midfield star once compared to Yaya Toure, and one who received lavish praise from Fenerbahce’s Sporting Director Emre Belozoglu after netting a brace as Turkey beat Norway.
“You scored an excellent goal. You showed a great performance, made us happy, made us proud. Especially the second goal you scored was good for your quality,” Belozoglu said, via quotes by Sabah.
Tufan now has nine goals to his name in international football and previously scored against Germany, as he captained the Crescent-Stars to a 3-3 draw away to Joachim Low’s side last October.
Everton know all about goal-scoring and creative midfielders having witnessed Arteta ply his trade at Goodison Park for six-and-a-half-years, over which the current Arsenal head coach scored 35 and assisted 35 goals in 209 games across all competitions.
The Toffees have not had a similarly creative central midfielder since Arteta left to join the Gunners as a player in 2011, and have struggled in the area this season with Abdoulaye Doucoure the lead-option with two goals and three assists in 25 Premier League games.
Ancelotti may face a vast amount of competition for Tufan, but the Fenerbahce star could alleviate Everton’s long-running shortcoming.