Scouts from Newcastle United and Crystal Palace made their seemingly weekly trip to watch Cenk Tosun in action for Turkish giants Besiktas in midweek.
And they won’t have been disappointed. The Turkish international, who both Newcastle and Palace tried to sign in August (The Sun), scored his fourth goal in four Champions League games to edge Besiktas every closer to the knockout stages by virtue of a 1-1 draw with Monaco.
CNN Turk reported that Newcastle were preparing to make a £18 million club-record move in January for the prolific 26-year-old. Though Turkish paper Hurriyet claims that Tosun was not the only Besiktas star that Newcastle and Palace had hoped to see.
Former Arsenal youngster Oguzhan Ozyakup, a dynamic central midfielder who scored five goals and assisted seven to help Besiktas to the Super Lig title last season, was also on their radar.
Three in one
The report, however, adds that another midfielder from the Istanbul giants caught their eye too – Tolgay Arslan. The 27-year-old impressed against Monaco at the Vodafone Arena on Wednesday, posting a 91 per cent pass completion rate and also winning three tackles at the base of the midfield.
Therefore, it appears that there could be a third Besiktas regular on Newcastle’s shopping list come the January transfer window. Former Germany Under-21 international Arslan moved to Turkey from Hamburg in 2015 and has won the league title in each of his two seasons with Besiktas.
A truly versatile midfielder who combines defensive workrate with impressive passing and dribbling abilities, Arslan could be an excellent addition for a Newcastle side who like to sit deep and hit teams on the counter.