Galatasaray are thought to be lining up a double swoop on the capital to take John Terry and Dimitar Berbatov to Turkey. With a penchant for uncompromising defenders and elegant strikers it may be a shrewd ideal move for the Istanbul club. With both players now 32, it may also be an ideal time to offer the swansong in the Turkish sunshine and a handsome payday. Would the players, and their clubs, countenance the deal however?
It had seemed that berbatov had found an ideal home at Fulham. A club where he was comfortable displaying his languid talents at a level that was not too demanding. Latterly however signs of frustration have been evident, and as Fulham’s mid –table position has fallen to the edge of the relegation battle, the player has looked less and less comfortable. It may well be therefore that the Bulgarian could be interested in the any Galatasaray offer, as giving him a last chance at high level football and even a Champions’ League foray. Should Fulham be approached with an attractive offer, given the player’s age, the astute Martin Jol may look on it with favour. It would make good business sense to cash in on the aging star as it would probably be last opportunity to get some brass for him that the club could then reinvest in younger players.
Just up the road at Stamford Bridge, Terry may be a little less excited by the prospect of a move, but if all the off stage noises are to be believed, he may be persuaded to give it serious consideration. Talk is that Roman Abramovich remains alienated from the club captain for his role in usurping the ‘project’ that the oligarch had put together with Andre Villas-Boas - although that plan’s demise did lead to the club winning the Champions’ League –and that if terry stays the prospect of him getting a new contract when the current one expires at the end of next season, lie somewhere between slim and nil. Clearly, all bets could be off on this if Jose Mourinho returns to the club and summons the core of his old guard around for one final hurrah in blue. But that remains to be seen. There is of course for terry, the prospect of lining up alongside his old comrade Didier Drogba if the move materializes and if a firm bid is made, you can bet there’ll be a few conversations between the two.
Turkish football remains a growing force in Europe, and no longer can be seen as a backwater where old and tired, or second-rate players go to see out their final years. If Galatsaray secure the signings of Terry and Berbatov, there’s good reason to assume that this trend will continue.