Turkish clubs start second half of league season with few changes

Turkish clubs start second half of league season with few changes

ISTANBUL
Turkish clubs start second half of league season with few changes

Spor Toto Super League’s second season starts on Jan. 18 with struggling major clubs spending a silent mid-season transfer period due to mounting financial troubles.

Beşiktaş, which finished the first half in the seventh spot, will be in action in the first game of the second half at Akhisarspor.

Beşiktaş has lost two of its foreign players, defender Pepe to Porto on a free transfer and forward Ryan Babel to Premier League side Fulham for 2 million euros, while making two additions.

The Istanbul club signed striker Burak Yılmaz from Trabzonspor for a fee of 1.4 million euros, despite from supporters who argued that the player “cannot represent Beşiktaş values,” while also getting defender Nicolas Isimat-Mirin from PSV Eindhoven for a reported fee of 350,000 euros.

Akhisar, meanwhile, is one point above the relegation zone, and desperately needs points when its hosts Beşiktaş.

Super League leader Başakşehir, which travels to second-placed Trabzonspor on Jan. 20, has added Brazilian midfielder Robinho to its squad from Sivasspor for 2 million euros and defender Serdar Taşçı on a free transfer. Moroccan defender Manuel da Costa, meanwhile, was sold to Al Ittihad of Saudi Arabia for a fee of 4.5 million euros.

Fourth-placed Kasımpaşa has been one of the most active teams in the winter transfer window, adding three future prospects to the team.

Nineteen-year-old German-Turkish left winger Azad Toptik joined Kasımpaşa from Stuttgart, 20-year-old Norwegian midfielder Tobias Heintz was signed from Sarpsborg for a fee of 800,000 euros, and 2.5 million euros were paid to NK Osije to being in Bosnian playmaker Haris Hajradinovic.

Kasımpaşa starts the second half at home against Rizespor on Jan. 21.

Fenerbahçe, which was expected to be very active in the transfer market to get the team out of the relegation zone under coach Ersun Yanal, has so far bought only one player: Defender Sadık Çiftpınar from Malatyaspor in exchange for youngsters Yiğithan Güveli and Barış Alıcı, with Alıcı being on loan.

Jan. 21’s game at Bursaspor will be a tough challenge for the club and Yanal, who has yet to win his first league game at the helm of the club.

Defending champion Galatasaray, meanwhile, will open the second half at home against Ankaragücü on Jan. 19 and is still actively seeking players on the market after parting ways with a few names.

Midfielder Garry Rodrigues was sold to Al Ittihad for 9 million euros, 18-year-old defender Ozan Kabak is moving to Bundesliga team Stuttgart for a reported fee of 12 million euros, and striker Eren Derdiyok and defender Serdar Aziz were both told to find themselves new clubs.

The only official addition to the squad so far has been 22-year-old Brazilian defender Marcao, for whom Galatasaray paid 4 million euros to Portuguese struggler Chaves.

Elsewhere in the Super League this weekend, Malatyaspor will host Göztepe, Erzurumspor will play Konyaspor at home, Kayserispor will travel to Antalyaspor and Sivasspor will visit Alanyaspor.

The league completion will end on May 26.

Turkish Super League, football, footballers