Ex-Chelsea target set for contract renewal - Did PL clubs dodge a bullet?

Galatasaray Fans

Galatasaray striker Burak Yilmaz was hot property last summer with links to Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool, but now looks set to sign a contract renewal in Turkey.

Yilmaz was a man that seemingly came out of nowhere last season.

After bagging an astounding 33 goals in 34 Turkish Super Lig appearances for Tranzonspor in the 2011-12 campaign, the Antalya native earned a €5 million move to giants Galatasaray.

With his homeland’s most successful club, he immediately flourished. Yilmaz struck 24 times in domestic play for his new employers en route to lifting the league title.

But it was his performance in Europe that truly grabbed the attention of top sides around the continent.

Yilmaz propelled Galatasaray to the quarter-finals of the Champions League with eight goals, finishing behind only Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski on the scoring charts.

The Turkey international’s exploits in continental competition prompted a raft of reports linking him with a move to Chelsea last summer.

Liverpool and Arsenal were also part of the discussion, but as August rolled around it seemed Serie A’s Lazio had stolen a march on their rivals to secure the 28-year-old’s services.

But it wasn’t to be. Galatasaray rejected the Italian capital club’s offer - dismissing it as “funny” - and kept hold of their star man for the current term.

Unfortunately for Yilmaz, however, he hasn’t been able to recreate last seasons’s heroics this time around.

His 15 league goals are nothing to scoff at, but represent a significant drop off. More telling is the fact that he failed to hit the back of the net at all in the Champions League.

And with that, the chance of a high-profile move abroad seems to have evaporated. Calciomercato have now picked up on reports that he’ll instead extend his contract with Galatasaray - set to expire in 2016 - until 2018.

Perhaps Yilmaz was a flash in the pan, a signing interested clubs were better off not making based off of a single season of brilliance in Europe’s elite competition.

One thing for certain is that he’ll be eager to prove this theory wrong as he foreseeably carries on with Galatasaray, nearing the age of 30.

Galatasaray are of course happy to still have him, but will be hoping he can hit the heights reached in his first season in Istanbul once again.

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch