The Turkish giants appear to be in the market for a well-proven enforcer, having recently missed out on Liverpool’s tough-tackling Brazilian Lucas Leiva.
Turkish-Football revealed earlier today that Jurgen Klopp reportedly pulled the plug on the Leiva deal.
They quote Metin Korkmaz, one of the intermediaries involved in the failed swoop, as saying; “Klopp was behind the transfer hitting the rocks, he wants Lucas to stay and the player had to listen.If it was up to Lucas he would have made the transfer.”
And sporting director Levent Nazifoglu added; “We are no longer pursuing Lucas Leiva, we will continue efforts to sign alternative names instead.”
Nazifoglu has been talking with Turkish-Football once again, this time confirming Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel is one of the Leiva alternatives on his radar.
He said; “Mikel is a quality player and we have been interested but he is not our priority either, we have other players that are being targeted.”
The Nigerian international enjoyed a mini-renaissance in the Chelsea first team last season and recently revealed his desire to claim a place in Antonio Conte’s plans.
But largely considered a squad player and now into the final year of his Stamford Bridge contract, Mikel could well move on before the summer window slams shut.