Germany’s Gomez signs with Beşiktaş to join world stars in Turkish combat
AFP photoFiorentina’s German international Mario Gomez has become the latest world star to set up shop in the Turkish Super League after signing a two-year loan deal with Istanbul’s Beşiktaş.
The German international’s arrival follows that of other well-known players in the league, including Ricardo Quaresma, Robin Van Persie, Nani, Lukas Podolski and Sameul Eto’o.
Beşiktaş said in a filing to the stock exchange July 30 that Gomez would receive 3.5 million euros a year.
“The contract includes an option to make the deal permanent,” the club said on its website.
Beşiktaş, which finished third in the Turkish Super League last season, has been hunting for a world-class striker to replace Senegalese hitman Demba Ba, who joined Shanghai Shenhua.
Gomez, 30, has won 60 caps for Germany in an illustrious career, although he missed Germany’s 2014 World Cup triumph due to injury. However, he has bagged 25 goals in 59 appearances for Germany since 2007.
He built his career at Stuttgart, before moving to Bayern Munich in 2009 and then Fiorentina in 2013. He won the Bundesliga three times with the two German teams and the UEFA Champions League with Bayern in 2013. He scored 75 goals in 115 appearances at Bayern.
Gomez scored 14 goals in 47 appearances for the Serie A club, despite missing a large number of games in his first season due to a knee problem.
He is the second German player to be added to the Beşiktaş squad after Andreas Beck, who signed with the Istanbul side after seven years at Hoffenheim.
His compatriot, Lukas Podolski, joined reigning champions Galatasaray in a $2.8 million deal from Arsenal while Dutchman van Persie and Portugal’s Nani both signed for 19-time winner Fenerbahçe from Manchester United.
Van Persie will earn 4.9 million euros per season in addition to 20,000 euros in bonuses per game. Manchester sold Nani to Fener for 6 million euros.
Beşiktaş, which has been facing transfer difficulties due to financial woes in a pre-season where rivals have already signed world stars, welcomed back its former Portuguese forward Quaresma, along with Brazilian center back Rhodolfo. Porto received some 800,000 euros for Quaresma, sources said, while his wages will total 1.3 million euros annually. Quaresma, who has also played with Inter, Barcelona and Chelsea, became an idol for the fans when he moved to Beşiktaş in 2010 as a marquee signing in a summer in which former Real Madrid ace Guti also arrived at the team’s historic İnönü Stadium, which is being rebuilt as the Vodafane Arena.
Fiorentina, which finished fourth in Serie A last season, signed midfielder Mario Suarez from Atletico Madrid last week and will now be on the lookout for a top-class striker.
Liverpool was also reportedly interested in Gomez, with media reporting that the Merseyside team was looking for a swap deal involving its out-of-favor Italian international Mario Balotelli.