Barcelona beat Chelsea and Manchester United to signing of Turkey captain Arda Turan from Atletico Madrid.
The Spanish champions have confirmed the signing of the playmaker Arda Turan after being courted by both English club sides Chelsea and Manchester United. The 28 year-old midfielder who was reportedly the target of Premier League duo Manchester United and Chelsea, but the Catalan club pulled a fast one to land their man in a €34million [£24.1million] deal, tying the Turkey captain down to a five-year contract.
A statement published on Barca’s official website confirmed the agreement between the clubs, although the former Galatasaray player will not be able to play an official game for the treble winners until January 2016, due to a transfer ban imposed by FIFA for breaching rules over the signings of under-age players.
That ban has not stopped the Spanish giants, who won the Primera Division, Copa del Rey and Champions League last season, from recruiting Spanish winger Aleix Vidal on a permanent transfer from Sevilla last month.
Arda’s arrival will strengthen Barca’s midfield following the departure of veteran captain Xavi, who has joined Qatari club Al Sadd after 24 years with the Catalan giants.
Arda may not have quite as much experience as the 35-year-old Catalan hero, but he was certainly a successful signing at the Vicente Calderon.
He joined Atletico from Turkish champions Galatasaray in 2011 and went on to make 127 appearances for Atleti, winning the Europa League in his first season before clinching the Copa del Rey in 2012-13.
The following season saw Arda score three goals and set up four more in 30 league appearances as Atletico won their first Spanish league title in 18 years.