Chelsea scout Eddie Newton has confirmed that the Blues had kept a keen interest Besiktas midfielder Oguzhan Özyakup in the past, though he admits that the Turk is more suited to Arsenal’s style of play. Ozyakup had been tipped for a return to the Emirates during the winter transfer window, but the Gunners were only willing to pay half of Besiktas’ €12m valuation for the midfielder.
Speaking to Aksam, Newton rated the 25-year-old highly after watching the players in close quarters. He continued to praise the player’s composure with the ball at his feet, and believes he could be ideal signing for Arsene Wenger’s side, he said: “We followed him before. For me he will suit the Arsenal system. He’s technically strong, calm, and composed on the ball and also a good passer.”
Over the past few days, the speculation has intensified over the Gunners’ pursuit of Ozyakup. According to The Sun, the north London club had sent scouts to watch their ex-graduate in action against Bayern Munich last week, but the midfielder did not make off the bench.
With his contract expiring in five months’ time, Arsene Wenger probably made the best decision to snub the Turkish club’s offer, and the Gunners now have the opportunity to discuss a pre-contract agreement with the player, who is likely to attract interest from other high-profile clubs as well.
Meanwhile, Besiktas maintained their quest for a third-straight Super Lig title after they beat Fenerbahce by a comfortable 3-1 scoreline. The match brought the best out of former Blues attacker Ricardo Quaresma, who bagged a sublime brace in the second-half.
The Black Eagles also have a Champions League round of 16 tie versus Bayern Munich next month, but the result is more of a foregone conclusion following their 5-0 mauling at the Allianz Arena in the reverse fixture. The Turkish champions were down to 10 men after just 17 minutes, and this turned the tie hugely in Bayern’s favour.