Reports: Barcelona star could depart for Atletico Madrid in January
What's the story?
Barcelona midfielder Arda Turan is considering a return to Atletico Madrid this season, according to a report in Spanish news outlet SPORT. Ernesto Valverde has reportedly told the Turkish midfielder that he will find minutes hard to come by this season, resulting in Turan considering his future, and seeking out a reunion with Diego Simeone back in Madrid. However, Turan is also reportedly fielding offers from Arsenal and former club Galatasaray, who can sign him this summer itself.
In case you didn't know...
Arda Turan came through the ranks at Galatasaray, before making a move abroad to Atletico Madrid in 2011, with the Rojiblancos parting with 13 million for his services. After winning La Liga in 2013/14 with Atletico, Turan moved to Barcelona for a massive €34 million (+ 7 million in addons) in 2015. Curiously enough, Barcelona had a transfer ban at the time, and Turan was only able to play the following year, making his debut in January.
The heart of the matter
The Turkish midfielder had struggled for playing time under Luis Enrique, and was hoping that his fortunes would change after Ernesto Valverde took over. However, Barca's new boss has privately informed the midfielder that he will not form a big part of his plans. Even in the pre-season friendly against Chapecoense, Turan and Douglas were the only two outfield players to not get on the pitch.
Atletico Madrid are hoping to capitalize on the situation, with Diego Simeone hoping to bring his former player back for a cut-price fee. Turan has also retired from the Turkish international team after controversies back home, and is thus not worried about not playing football for the next 6 months in a World Cup year.
Turan had noted his ambition last October to end his career at Barcelona, saying "To play one minute in this team is already important, I’ll do [whats asked] without problems. My objective is to end my sporting career with Barcelona." However, Galatasaray CEO Dursun Özbek revealed that Turan was looking to leave, saying "Arda Turan is a great player. We would like for him to end his career at this club. We're working on that."
Turan is far too good a midfielder to occupy the bench for Barcelona, and he would be well served by a return to Atletico Madrid to revive his career.