Fenerbahçe completes Emre's return

Fenerbahçe completes Emre's return

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Fenerbahçe completes Emres return

Relations between Emre Belözoğlu (R) and Fenerbahçe coach Aykut Kocaman will be closely watched since the two prominent figures at the Istanbul club were not getting along well last season.

Fenerbahçe is set to sign midfielder Emre Belözoğlu and forward Pierre Webo with just two days to go until the end of the January transfer window.

Turkish international midfielder Emre Belözoğlu is set to return to Fenerbahçe on a two-and-a-half year deal.

The 32-year-old has been a fringe player at Atletico Madrid, where he signed on a free transfer last summer, and will leave the Spanish club on a free transfer as well.

Emre’s return will be a boost for the midfield at Fenerbahçe, whose summer additions Mehmet Topal and Raul Meireles have been less than satisfactory for the Istanbul club.

Valuable asset

With his tireless, ambitious playing character and added experience of having played at Italian Inter Milan, English Newcastle United and Atletico, Emre is a valuable asset for Fenerbahçe, who has also been trying to cope with the foreign player quota of six non-Turkish players on the pitch in Spor Toto Super League games.

However, Emre’s unquestionable abilities were somewhat overshadowed by several controversies, and his return to Fenerbahçe may create further problems.

It was well documented that coach Aykut Kocaman had problems with Emre and did not want the club to renew Emre’s contract last summer.

Racism claims

Emre’s reputation came under scrutiny after he allegedly racially abused Trabzonspor midfielder Didier Zokora in a Super League game last season. Emre publicly responded to the Ivory Coast’s claims by saying that he had no racist intentions and was given a two-match ban for insulting the player, but not for racism. The two-match ban came at a crucial period last season, when Fenerbahçe was trying to catch leader and eventual champion Galatasaray in the playoffs.

Fenerbahçe’s other transfer is agreeing to terms with Istanbul BB on the purchase of Cameroonian striker Pierre Webo.

The Yellow Canaries will pay a transfer fee of three million euros to Istanbul BB, NTV Spor reported. The 31-year-old forward has been one of the Super League’s most prolific players since he was signed from Mallorca in the summer of 2011.

Webo scored 24 goals in 55 games for Istanbul BB in two seasons. This season, Webo has had nine goals in the Super League, sharing the third spot with four players, including new teammate Moussa Sow of Fenerbahçe.