Barcelona transfer news: Mahrez latest, Atleti star flattered by interest and more - 3rd January 2017
Riyad Mahrez tipped to succeed at Barcelona
The 2015/2016 Premier League Player of the Year was instrumental in Leicester City's stunning underdog league victory that season. Since then, he has been trying to move away from the King Power Stadium but to no avail. Despite submitting a transfer request last summer, he failed to complete a move.
The Algerian was rumoured to be a replacement for Neymar at Barcelona but the move did not materialize. Now that the January transfer window is open, the Blaugrana once again have the opportunity to sign him and could face competition from Chelsea and Arsenal. However, Sky Sports pundit, Steve McClaren, believes he will be a good fit at Barcelona and said:
"The way Barcelona are at the present moment, no player is indispensable. You look at Neymar moving for £200m and Barcelona have gone on and are top of the league and running away with the league."
"I think the kind of players that they’re recruiting, Mahrez is currently up there with them because he’s got the mentality to do that, the intensity to do that. I don’t know [if he’ll go], but he’s definitely one that I think has seen his time out now at Leicester and should be looking at a Champions League club in this country or even abroad."
Barcelona is definitely looking to replace Neymar adequately and Mahrez could fit the bill.
Saul Niguez encouraged by Barcelona interest
The Atletico Madrid star is a target for Barcelona with club CEO Miguel Angel Gil Marin stating that he received an inquiry for the midfielder from the Catalan side. However, the Blaugrana were put off by the release clause of the 23-year old, which stands at €150 million.
Now, Saul opened up on Barcelona's interest and reiterated his desire to win trophies at the capital club. He told AS:
"It's always positive that teams show interest in you but I want to do good things at Atletico and that's the reason for my renewal. I wanted to continue here and that's why it was done. It was very simple. The idea is to grow with Atletico."
"When it looks like I'm stuck or I need a change, then we can talk about it. But I want to improve with Atletico and my goal is to compete until the end for trophies with Atletico Madrid."
Thus, Saul will not be a Barcelona player anytime soon given his choice as well as the incredibly high release clause.
Everton eyeing Arda Turan
The Turkish international has failed to kick on since he joined the Blaugrana from Atletico Madrid in 2015. He is now surplus to requirements with several incomings expected in this transfer window as well as in the summer. Thus, along with a few other players, Turan is expected to be shipped out in order to trim the wage bill.
Arsenal were reportedly interested in bringing the 30-year old to England but Mundo Deportivo now reports that Everton is looking to sign the attacker.
The Spanish news outlet claims that Turan's agent Ahmet Bulut has offered the player to both Everton and AC Milan. Furthermore, another interested club, Besiktas, are unwilling to match the €7 million-a-year wages, while Arsenal has pulled out, as per the report.
The wages could prove to be a stumbling block for Everton along with the reported €20 million transfer fee wanted by Barcelona.
However, if the Toffees do complete the deal, then Turan will potentially join another Turkish international in Besiktas' Cenk Tosun, whom the club is trying to sign as per several reports.