Galatasaray starts second part against Kasımpaşa
REUTERS PhotoHaving spent most of the month on transfer talks about Wesley Sneijder, Galatasaray will try to focus on the league when it meets Kasımpaşa tonight.
The defending champion will start the second part of the Spor Toto Super League campaign tonight when it meets its Istanbul neighbor at Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Stadium.
Galatasaray will try to leave the transfer talk behind after the country’s football agenda has been dominated by the club’s chase of the Dutch superstar over the last two weeks.
Inter accepted the Turkish champion’s 8 million euro offer after the Italian club made it clear that it wants to offload Sneijder, who is not part of coach Andrea Stramaccioni’s plans despite being one of the best players on the continent.
Galatasaray, hoping to boost its squad in the Turkish championshipd and in the Champions League round-of-16 tie against Germany’s Schalke 04, tried to convince Sneijder to agree to a lucrative salary through an initial payment of 6 million euro on top of a 3.2 million euro yearly salary supplemented by 25,000 euro per appearance.
However, Sneijder announced earlier this week that he does not want to be rushed into a decision.
Given the current situation, chairman Ünal Aysal tried to play down the importance of the Sneijder signing, in an apparent bid to boost confidence in the squad and avoid distraction regarding the Dutchman.
“It is not the end of the world if we don’t sign Sneijder,” the chairman said. “We have 28 stars on our squad already. I am proud of my players.”
Galatasaray had its ups and downs during the first part of the campaign but still leads the league with a three-point margin over Beşiktaş and Medical Park Antalyaspor, six points ahead of archrival Fenerbahçe.
The Lions could have won just nine of its 17 games in the first part of the season, but managed to finish the league in the top spot with the smallest point tally ever collected by a team that is leading the standings halfway through the season.
The bright side of the first part of the season was the European success for Galatasaray, who managed to make it past the Champions’ League group stages.
After a solid start to the season, Kasımpaşa suffered a slump with coach Shota Arveladze, but managed to finish the first part in ninth with 23 points.
Forward Adem Büyük is confident that the Istanbul side can pull an upset against their neighbors.
“We will start off against a solid team like Galatasaray, but we have the quality to come away with a win,” Büyük said. “Both teams have good forward lines but Galatasaray is one of the big teams so it looks like they are close to a win. But we want nothing less than a win.”
The game starts at 8 p.m.