Arda Turan joins Barcelona from Atletico Madrid
BARCELONA – Agence France-Presse
A club statement said Barcelona will pay an initial fee of 34 million euros with a potential 7 million euros more in bonuses.
The 28-year-old Turkish international has been a key player in Diego Simeone’s Atletico side in recent seasons after arriving in Spain from Galatasaray in 2011.
Barcelona said coach Luis Enrique had requested the signing, as the Catalans have been looking to strengthen their midfield following the departure of long-serving Xavi Hernandez, who left Barcelona for Qatar’s Al Sadd SC.
However, Turan arrives at Camp Nou at a time of uncertainty, with a board running club affairs until elections for a new president are held on July 18.
Barcelona therefore added the signing comes with a clause that will allow the incoming president to sell Turan back to Atletico, though doing so will incur a fine of 10 percent of the transfer fee paid.
After announcing the decision to bring Turan to Barcelona, Ramon Adell, president of the FC Barcelona Managing Committee, explained that “the decision could not be put off any longer,” but he also reminded everyone that “the incoming president still has the possibility of reversing the operation.” Also, he added that the signing was good news for Barcelona and the operation “protects the interests of the club.”
In any case, Turan will not be able to make his debut for Barcelona until 2016, by which time the reigning European champions will have completed a FIFA-imposed transfer ban.
The club welcomed Turan on its website in Turkish.
He is the second new signing made by the Catalans this close season, after a deal was made with Sevilla last month to sign Aleix Vidal.
Turan was transferred from Galatasaray to Atletico Madrid in 2011, becoming one of the key players in the Spanish side.
He becomes the second Turkish international to play for Barcelona, after goalkeeper Rustu Recber from 2003 to 2005.
His career achievements include Turkish league and cup titles with Galatasaray and La Liga, Copa del Rey Supercopa de España, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Super Cup titles with Atletico Madrid.