Arsenal officials have reportedly flown to Turkey to keep an eye on Freiburg defender, Caglar Soyuncu, as the club look to go into the new season with a completely new centreback pairing however the player might now want a move to Atletico Madrid, saying he’d ‘love to play for them’.
Arsenal are said to be very close to agreeing a deal to bring Borussia Dortmund’s 29-year-old centreback, Sokratis, to the club and Soyuncu is expected to be next.
Over the weekend, the player confirmed that Arsenal are interested in signing him but that he has not made a decision and won’t until after his international friendlies are finished on June 5.
Should Arsenal agree a deal for the 22-year-old, 25% of any fee paid to Freiburg would go to his former club, Altinordu, where the defender made more than 30 appearances before signing for Freiburg for £2.4m in 2016. Altinordu had signed him on a free transfer from Aliaga Futbol in 2014.
Turkey will play Iran on Monday before a game against Tunisia on June 1 and then their final game of the summer, against Russia on June 5.
Speaking recently, Soyuncu said that his future would become clear in a fortnight and his latest statement tallies with that.
Now, he has confirmed that Arsenal do indeed want to sign him.
Speaking with Turkish publication, Tumspor, he said, (butchered by Google translate), “Arsenal [one] of the most important clubs in England, I know they care about me, but there’s nothing finalised yet about my transfer.
“After the national team camp takes place, in a relaxed way, talks my head. Currently I have an idea to return to Turkey.
“I want to represent my country in Europe as long as my body permits.”
The defender has been linked with Arsenal for a while now and, less that two weeks ago, his agent said the player wanted a Premier League move within the next 10-15 days.
“The main objective of the player is to play in the Premier League, that I can tell you at the moment,” Mustafa Dogru explained. “We are negotiating with some clubs, but I can’t give the name of the clubs – I’m sorry.
“Next week we will have some meetings and I think in 10 or 15 days his situation will be clear. They (Freiburg) are open to negotiations.”
“He is perfect for the Premier League,” Dogru insisted. “We are sure he is going to make a big impact in the first season. He’s very quick, he can use both feet and has excellent technique.
“He was playing also as a defensive midfielder when he was young. He plays almost 85 per cent in the head. Over short distances he is very quick and fast, so with these qualities and specialities, he is unique at the moment actually.”
In another statement, given at the weekend, Soyuncu seemed to issue a ‘come and get me’ plea to Atletico Madrid, telling beIN Sports, “My friends who play in Spain say it’s a great league.
“Atlético Madrid is a good team, very organised and has great ambitions, great potential. They deserved the Europa League title and I would love to play for them.”