Istanbul archrivals sign new names
The 29-year-old playmaker Raul Meireles (R) joins Fenerbahçe for a reported fee of $16.5. AA photoIstanbul archrivals Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray have strengthened their squads by signing one player each as the deadline for transfers nears.
Veteran Brazilian defender Cris left Olympic Lyon to join Turkish club Galatasaray in a one-year deal, while Fenerbahçe finalized the signing of midfielder Raul Meireles from Chelsea on a four-year deal late Sept. 3.
The transfer window for Turkish clubs closes at midnight today.
Cris has admitted he is sad to leave Lyon but relishes the challenge that lies ahead of him at his new club. “A page turns, another begins. This is a new episode in my life,” Cris was quoted as saying on sambafoot.com.
Both happy and sad
“I’m happy, but also sad. I leave the club where I spent eight years, where I lived for beautiful things, a club that I will keep in my heart and its supporters. I wanted to finish my career at OL. But this proposal is interesting for me and for the club.
“Discussions went well with Galatasaray. There were no problems. I know a little about the club and I know [Cláudio] Taffarel, [Felipe] Melo, Milan [Baros] and [Johan]Elmander. It is a challenge,” Cris said.
“Olympic Lyon announces they have agreed to break the contract of defender Cris, who signed a one-year deal on Monday with Turkish club Galatasaray,” Lyon said on its website.
The 35-year-old will have his spell at champions Galatasaray automatically extended for a further year if he plays at least 25 games, the Istanbul club said on its website.
Four league titles
Cris spent eight years at Olympic Lyon, whom he joined after a transfer from Bayer Leverkusen in 2003, winning four French league titles and two French Cups.
He quickly became one of the best center backs in the French league, but struggled to get back to top form after he suffered torn knee ligaments early in the 2007-08 season.
Cris has 18 caps for Brazil but never played in a World Cup.
Chelsea also bid farewell to one of its own players.
“Raul Meireles has today joined Fenerbahçe on a permanent transfer. Chelsea Football Club thanks Raul for the part he played in such a historic and successful year and wishes him well at his new club,” a statement posted on the team’s website read.
The 29-year-old Portuguese playmaker had spent less than one year at Stamford Bridge, after joining the club for a reported fee of $19 million last season.
Fenerbahçe will reportedly pay $16.5 million for Meireles.