FIFA ban blues: Tough not playing until January, says Turan

New Barca recruit will work on his form until then

Reuters July 09, 2015
Atletico Madrid's Arda Turan (C) attends a training session at the club's sports grounds in Majadahonda, near Madrid. PHOTO: REUTERS

BARCELONA: Barcelona’s new midfield playmaker Arda Turan has said it will be tough for him not being able to play until January due to a ban on the club on registering players.

Barca agreed to sign the Turkey captain from Atletico Madrid on Monday and Spanish media have reported the European champions may send Arda out on loan until 2016, possibly to his former club Galatasaray.

FIFA banned Barca from two transfer windows after they were deemed to have broken rules on the signing of foreign under-18 players, although they are allowed to buy and sell and have also added versatile wide player Aleix Vidal from Sevilla.

“It’s going to be hard not playing for six months but the important thing is that I will play for Barca,” said Arda in an interview with Spanish radio. “I will work until I am able to make my debut in January and I will help the team to win all the trophies,” said the 28-year-old, adding that it will be a “dream” for him to play in the same team as the likes of forwards Lionel Messi and Neymar and midfielder Andres Iniesta.

Barca, who won a treble of Champions League and Spanish league and Cup titles last season, signed Arda to give coach Luis Enrique an extra creative option in midfield but also due to the club’s links with Turkey and Turkish companies.

Domestic appliance maker Beko and tyre manufacturer Lassa are two of Barca’s sponsors, while the club’s 2.3 million Turkish Facebook fans put the nation seventh in the ranking of followers around the world.

The deal to sign Arda was complicated by the fact that Barca are in the midst of a presidential election campaign and are being administered by a special commission, which had to approve the transfer.

The commission included an unusual clause which means whoever wins the July 18 election has the option within two days of selling Arda back to Atletico less 10% of the fixed fee of $37.59 million. 

Published in The Express Tribune, July 9th, 2015.

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