In-demand Galatasaray forward Burak Yilmaz has admitted that he was close to joining Lazio in the off-season.
Chelsea have been widely reported to be in the market for a new striker come the January transfer window, as Jose Mourinho looks to bolster his options in attack.
One name that is repeatedly linked with a switch to Stamford Bridge is Turkish striker Burak Yilmaz.
The 28-year-old centre forward has played the entirety of his career in his homeland, but has shot to fame due to his predatory nature over recent years.
Despite Chelsea’s reported interest, the Galatasaray striker has admitted that the Blues were close to missing out on him as a switch to Lazio was in the offing over the summer.
“The president told me that Lazio were very close to my transfer,” he told Eurosport.
“It was not just Lazio on me, of course. But I want to answer this question clearly. The president did not want me to leave.
“I never said that I would go away and I take this opportunity to thank our president.”
Gala president Unal Aysal has stated in the recent past that if a big club like Chelsea came in for Yilmaz’s signature, he would not stand in the way of the talented hitman.
The Turk made his name at Trabzonspor over a two-year spell, after ill-fated stints at both Besiktas and Fenerbahce. Yilmaz scored an exceptional 55 goals in 75 appearances, which earned him a move to Galatasaray.
Over the last season and a half, Yilmaz has proven his ability to play at the highest level and has excelled for the Super Lig side in the Champions League.
Six goals in the group stages of the Champions League last term caught Europe’s eye, and the 28-year-old has formed a formidable partnership with Didier Drogba of late.
Arsenal have been linked with Yilmaz in the past also, and it appears that a move to a major European league is on the cards for the able striker.
image: © Jason Bagley