For any budding midfielder, being compared to one Zinedine Zidane is quite the compliment. Though former Turkey international Ridvan Dilmen had no qualms about comparing Ozughan Ozyakup to arguable the greatest playmaker of the 21st century in his column for Turkish paper Sabah.
A vibrant and intelligent central midfielder with the ability to open up defences via a forceful run or incisive pass, Ozyakup has arguably been the best player in Turkish football over the last two years, while inspiring Besiktas to successive Super Lig titles.
But with his contract expiring at the end of the season, his stand-out displays have unsurprisingly not gone unnoticed. According to Fotomac, Everton are tracking the 25-year-old Turkish international, who was let go by Arsenal in 2012.
Besiktas, then, are concerned that they could lose their key man on a free transfer in just a few months’ time. Therefore, it’s reported that they are hatching a plan which could suit all parties down to the ground.
Fanatik are reporting that Besiktas want Ozyakup to sign a new contract to ensure he does not leave for nothing. But fear not Everton fans, the report adds that Ozyakup could be given a release clause of just £9 million – a fee well within The Toffees budget.
This means that not only would Besiktas get a fee for arguably their prized asset, Everton could also pick him up for a bargain price – albeit missing out on the chance to sign Ozyakup on a free.
But with Everton expected to rake in the money when Ross Barkley finally moves from Goodison Park in January, The Standard reporting that Tottenham and Chelsea are still keen, Ozyakup could replace him for a fraction of the price.