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TURKEY >Turkey’s Beşiktaş signs with Istanbul-born Armenian talent Özbiliz

ISTANBUL

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Turkey’s Beşiktaş said in a filing to the stock exchange on Jan. 20 that it is in talks with Aras Özbiliz, the rising Armenian star of Russia’s Spartak Moscow. However, the title contender does not plan to enroll the Istanbul-born midfielder this season, but send him on loan to Spain’s Getafe, according to sources. 

Beşiktaş and Spartak Moscow have already reached a 1.5 million euro transfer deal, sources said.

Özbiliz is a product of the Ajax Youth Academy and played as a professional at the Dutch side between 2010 and 2012, before moving to Russia’s rooted first-tier team Kuban Krasnodar.

On July 26, 2013, Özbiliz signed a multi-year contract with Spartak Moscow, with Kuban earning 10 million euros in transfer fees.

Born in Istanbul’s Bakırköy district, Özbiliz was raised in Hoorn, Netherlands and holds both Dutch and Armenian citizenship. He received his Armenian passport on Oct. 4, 2011 thanks to an order by the Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and chose to play for the Armenian national team, making his debut on Feb. 29, 2012, in a friendly match with Canada. He scored in his very first game. 

Considered as a “star of future” since his early youth, Özbiliz suffered two serious injuries, including a torn knee ligament. 

Beşiktaş also announced Jan. 20 that it is in talks with Ukraine’s FC Dnipro goalkeeper, Denys Boyko, who arrived in Istanbul the same day for heath checks.

The Black Eagles, currently second in the Turkish Spor Toto Super League with two points behind leader Fenerbahçe and one game in hand, also signed with La Liga side Getafe’s Alexis Delgado. 

In search for a goalkeeper, the Istanbul team also agreed to sign Boyku. 

Beşiktaş chairman Fikret Orman has said the club would not sell center back Ersan Gülüm to China’s Shanghai Shenhua.

January/21/2016

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