"It is true..." - Barcelona president Joan Laporta confirms talks for 18-year-old 'Turkish Messi'
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Barcelona president Joan Laporta confirmed the club were in talks with Fenerbahce for the signing of Turkish teenager Arda Guler.
The 18-year-old attacking midfielder is one of the most sought-after young talents in Europe.
The 18-year-old, who is already being dubbed the 'Turkish Lionel Messi' by local media, is allegedly available at a bargain price €17.5million (£15million) fee due to a clause in his contract.
Laporta has confirmed that Barcelona have held a long-standing interest in Guler and revealed that sporting director Deco had flown to Turkey to make progress on the transfer.
Laporta on Guler
Laporta admitted Barcelona were looking to sign Guler, but acknowledged that the youngster has attracted interest from several clubs across Europe.
Speaking to TV3 Laporta said: “He is a very young player, it is true that our scouts have been following him for a long time and many big clubs in Europe want him. We are talking to Fenerbahce.”
The Blaugrana are reportedly willing to meet Guler’s release clause but would prefer to make the payments in instalments.
Indeed, given the financial situation at the club, Guler’s arrival is being planned for next year. As per Barca Universal, the club are looking to sign the teenager this summer and loan him back to Fenerbahce for the season.
On the transfer window, Laporta added: “Winning six league titles in one season with six professional teams is a great source of pride.”
“We also have the viability plan approved by La Liga. We want more.
“We are not satisfied with this and we have to make the leap to Europe and that is why we are reinforcing ourselves.”
Guler made his Fenerbahce first-team debut in the 2021/22 season against HJK Helsinki in a Europa League qualifier.
The youngster went on to become the Turkish giants' youngest-ever goalscorer against Alanyaspor, firing home a sensational volley in March 2022.
Guler has made 51 appearances over the past two seasons, scoring nine goals and claiming 12 assists in all competitions.