Atlético Madrid made a big statement of intent earlier in the week with the announcement of Diego Simeone’s contract renewal, which keeps the Argentine at the Vicente Calderón for another five years.
However, the next step now must be securing the futures of some of those who have helped bring him so much success over the last three years or so – in particular cult hero Arda Turan.
Seeing their top players linked with moves elsewhere is nothing new for Atleti fans, who have had to cope with the losses of various star names both before and after Simeone joined the club.
According to latest reports, Manchester United have shown interest in the Turkish wizard, whose current deal with the Colchoneros runs until summer 2017.
He also has a release clause of €40m. but in the current market, that price for a player of his quality would probably not be a huge obstacle.
Aside from United, the Daily Express claimed on Tuesday that Liverpool and Chelsea were also pondering a move, and given the way that English clubs like to throw money around, we can expect the office’s fax machines to be working overtime once the transfer window opens.
Arda’s commitment has never been in doubt, he has professed his love for Atleti on a number of occasions, but agent Ahmet Bulut doesn’t always share the same opinion.
Those who have followed his situation down the years will know that he likes to talk a lot, and has caused a few nerves amongst the Rojiblanco faithful in the past by declaring that his client Arda was ready to move on.
Back in December 2012, he announced that the Turl would be seeking ‘a new challenge’ in the summer, despite Arda denying the rumours and putting pen to paper on a new deal only nine months later.
He pulled a similar stunt last year and put Arsenal fans on red alert by stating that the Turkish captain desired to play in England and under Arsene Wenger. Just last month, Bulut told Mundo Deportivo that “at the end of the season, Arda will be 28, it is the right time for a transfer.”
“That is what we think. The transfer should be made to one of the top eight teams in Europe. If not, then he will stay.”
Make of that what you will. Looking at Arda though, he couldn’t be happier in Madrid. He may still not speak the language, but has been adopted as one of our own and is idolised inside the Calderón.
“He is a very special person, with a huge heart,” said Simeone about his number 10. “There are some people with whom it’s not necessary to speak to, you look at them and there is a connection. We understand each other instinctively.”
It may not be time to panic, but given Arda’s position and with only two years left on the contract, you can expect some movement sooner or later.
Bulut will be looking to maximise his star client’s appeal, either by securing him a shiny new deal or a big money move to another of the continent’s elite.
Last week, the former Galatasaray man further extended the legacy of Ardaturanismo with a tireless performance against Bayer Leverkusen, and created a memorable image as he opted to seek divine inspiration rather than watch our penalty shootout win.
“Thank god this is my team” was the caption to his Instagram post after the final whistle.
He is now without doubt amonst the top attacking players in Europe, and we feel that like Cholo, it’s about time Arda was rewarded for everything he has done for the club, and tied down for the remainder of his years at the top level.