According to reports in Turkey, Newcastle have now made ‘serious strides’ in their attempt to sign Besiktas midfielder Oguzhan Özyakup – claiming that we’ve now met the players new €10m (£8.7m) release clause.
Aksam state that Rafa Benitez wants the deal done quickly (presumably because others clubs could nip in and beat us too it given the low release clause) and also that the player himself is keen on the move to Tyneside.
This one’s a funny one. It was reported a few months ago that Özyakup was a player we’d been watching during scouting trips to Turkey, but the Chronicle played down talk of him signing at St James’ Park just a few weeks ago – stating that he was NOT one of Rafa’s top targets.
As stated below, things can quickly change and may well have if Rafa realised he was forced to look at cheaper options – and Özyakup would be that at just shy of £9m.
In Chronicle's liveblog: "Reports earlier in the window that Newcastle were keen on Oyzakup were rubbished but it will be interesting to see if that stance has changed – particularly given the fairly cheap price."
Looks to me like they're checking this one again. #NUFC
— NUFC 360 (@NUFC360) June 19, 2018
At 25 he’s a good age, and he also ticks the box in terms of our need for creativity (27 goals and 50 assists in just over 200 games in Turkey).
He can play as a central midfielder or as a number 10 and is Bestikas’ skipper – so it seems to me like there’s plenty of reasons why this deal could appeal to Rafa.
The Chronicle may play it down (again), but it wouldn’t surprise me if there’s something in this..