Hakan Calhanoglu has agreed to join Bayer Leverkusen according to the German press.
Hamburg’s troubles in the Bundesliga have been well documented and while they remain keen to keep the attacking midfielder, he’s made it clear that he wants to leave this summer.
However, the two main interested Premier League parties may struggle to pull off a deal according to the German newspaper.
“We are clear with the player. He has accepted our offer verbally and only wants to join us. He said that clearly in Hamburg,” Leverkusen official Michael Schade is quoted by Bild.
The Turkish international has been linked with Arsenal and Liverpool because of the obvious talent and long term potential he promises at just 20-years-old.
The Gunners can cope with missing out on him because they have two of the best number tens in Europe at the moment in the form of Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla.
However, the initial reports which suggested Arsenal’s interest hinted that Arsene Wenger wanted to push him further forward, converting him into a secondary striker and giving the Gunners another option up front.
Brendan Rodgers is also well covered for playmakers at Anfield.
Philippe Coutinho thrived in the role as the club’s number ten last season, regularly playing in the space just behind Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge.
Rodgers will also have been impressed by the way Raheem Sterling played in the hole behind Sturridge for England, in the 201 defeat to Italy at the World Cup.
He has several options and there are more pressing areas of the team that Rodgers needs to improve before he considers bringing in another number ten.
Leverkusen are likely to have secured that verbal agreement for two main reasons.
Firstly, they represent the chance for him to stay in Germany, closer to Turkey than if he moved to England.
Secondly, they’re in a far better position to be able to offer him regular first team football than Arsene Wenger or Rodgers.
It’s a blow, but it’s one Arsenal and Liverpool can cope with.