Atletico Madrid midfielder Arda Turan has snubbed a move to Chelsea in favor of joining Barcelona, according to a report from the Catalan daily SPORT.
Just a few days ago, it was believed that Chelsea had secured the services of the Turkey international with the understanding that left-back Filipe Luis would eventually move the other way in a return to Atletico Madrid.
However, in what would be the first bombshell of the summer transfer window, Turan is believed to have chosen Barcelona over the defending Premier League champions.
What makes the decision so surprising is that the 28-year-old has opted to join Barcelona, a club he will not be able to play for until January 2016 due to its FIFA-imposed transfer embargo.
According to SPORT, Barcelona have not met the player’s €41 million release clause but the amount paid is close enough to that figure. It has also not been determined where Turan will play until January, when Barcelona can officially register players again.
This morning, the Turkish midfielder uploaded a farewell video to Atletico Madrid fans and it is believed an official announcement regarding his future will be made before the end of the week.
In February, Ahmet Bulut (Turan’s agent) told Mundo Deportivo that the 28-year-old would leave the club at the end of the season with his desired destination being one of the “top eight clubs in Europe”.
Bulut went on to say if a deal could not be negotiated with one of those clubs, Turan would remain in Madrid.
Late last week, the midfielder’s representative told the Spanish publication AS that Turan is keen to play in the Premier League and discussions were currently taking place with “the best clubs in England and in European football”.
“[Arda’s] will is to leave and to play in the Premier League, that is the path he would like to take to continue his career,” Bulut said.
“We are currently in talks with three teams but I cannot reveal the names of the clubs. However, I can tell you that they are the best in England and in European football.”
On Monday, Turan took to his official Twitter account to clarify his agent’s statements.
“The transfer rumors are not entirely correct,” the player tweeted. “My agent is currently in touch with 3-4 clubs. I will update you all if a deal is made.”
After those two statements were made Turan was heavily linked with moves to Chelsea and Manchester United, with the reigning Premier League champions being tipped to win the midfielder’s services.