By Richard Parks
Newcastle United have held talks with the agent of Besiktas midfielder Oguzhan Ozyakup in a bid to hijack Everton’s pursuit of the player, according to a report.
The Mirror claim the north-east giants are working on a deal to land Ozyakup, 25, in the summer on a free transfer when his contract with the Turkish club ends.
It is said that Newcastle are ready to meet Ozyakup’s wage demands of £2.5million-a-year, which amounts to around £48,000-a-week.
The Mirror report that Everton boss Sam Allardyce is keen on reuniting Ozyakup with striker Cenk Tosun, who moved from Besiktas to Goodison Park for £27million in January.
West Ham and Arsenal, where Ozyakup played as a youngster, are also reportedly in the hunt for his signature.
Football Insider verdict:
Ozyakup is no stranger to football on these shores after spending four years at Arsenal in his late teens. He only made the senior side twice for the Premier League giants but he has made a big impact back in his native Turkey and has become a talisman for Besiktas. The central midfielder, who can also operate as a number ten, has been directly involved in 76 goals for the club – 27 strikes and 49 assists – which is an impressive tally for someone in his position. Can Newcastle beat cash-rich Everton to his signature? The Toffees have the funds to blow their top-flight rivals out of the water in terms of the contract they can offer, but Newcastle must act quick and have the advantage of their manager position being more secure if – and it’s a big ‘if’ – they can sort out the takeover mess.
In other Newcastle United transfer news, West Ham have tabled a lowball bid for one of Rafael Benitez’s favourite players.