Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Juventus Threat to United's Arda Bid; Italians Want Turkish Star

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Juventus Threat to United's Arda Bid; Italians Want Turkish Star

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner

NEWCASTLE United may miss out on Arda after Italian giants Juventus entered the race for the emerging Turkey midfielder.

The Magpies had hoped to tie up a pounds 9m deal for the Galatasaray winger (pictured below) before the European Championships but the Istanbul club's tactic of stretching out a transfer until after the tournament in the hope of his value rocketing appears to have paid off.

Two goals in Austria and Switzerland and some impressive performances for the surprise semi-finalists have seen Arda's asking price rise to pounds 15m and with political pressure adding to their eagerness, it has not deterred "the Old Lady".

Juve are reportedly ready to offer Galatasaray target Jonathan Zebina and midfielder Sergio Almiron in exchange after their fans rebelled against their initial choice of new signing.

The club had earmarked Internazionale's Dejan Stankovic as their preferred attacking midfielder. With Jose Mourinho targeting Frank Lampard, the San Siro giants would almost certainly have been receptive to an offer but Juventus' fans were definitely not. The club's supporters have waged a campaign against the proposed signing which looks certain to bring about its collapse.

United's revamped scouting network have shown themselves to have a good eye for a player but the club's inability to close out deals before the start of Euro 2008 looks likely to be costly.

Arda, Holland's Orlando Engelaar and Russia's Andrei Arshavin have significantly enhanced their reputations - and with it, their price tags. All three have probably put themselves out of Newcastle's price range and even if they can compete financially, they cannot offer European football as Juventus can. Engelaar is believed to be on the verge of a move to Champions League-bound Schalke 04.

The Magpies can perhaps take a measure of encouragement from previous comments attributed to the 21-year-old which suggest he is eager to leave Galatasaray but would prefer not to play in Serie A. …

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