Turkish outlet Haberler yesterday reported that Newcastle are still showing interest in the Besiktas central midfielder Tolgay Arslan.
We were first linked with this player in October, and Newcastle scouts have been watching a number of Besiktas games, so maybe Arslan is one of the players being watched.
Rafa will want to bring in another central midfielder in the summer to increase competition in the middle of the park.
And Arslan is having an excellent season in Turkey and is one of Besiktas’ best players.
Tolgay Arslan – 27-year-old Besiktas midfielder
Arslan joined Besiktas back in January 2015 from Hamburg, where he had been since 2009, and he’s on a four and a half year contract in Turkey.
There were some reports in November that Newcastle could put in a bid in January for the 27-year-old, but that didn’t happen.
The German-born midfielder started his career at Borussia Dortmund and is a versatile player who can play anywhere across the midfield, and he could be an excellent addition to the Newcastle squad.
While he was born and raised in Germany in Paderborn, he has Turkish parents and played for the Turkey Youth sides at U19 and U21 level.
He then played for the German U20 and U21 sides but has no caps at the full International level.
Since he joined Besiktas in 2015, he’s made 107 appearances with 2 goals and 11 assists for them.
He has played 34 times for his club this season.
It seems that Rafa wants to get ahead of the game and try to get new players in early this summer.
That’s after what happened last summer when Lee Charnley’s initial bids for our targets seemed to go nowhere.
Newcastle were also linked with Besiktas central midfielder Oguzhan Ozyakup late last week, and he is a free agent this summer.
So maybe he’s the Besiktas player Rafa really wants?