Reported interest from Aston Villa, Leicester City and Newcastle United is a source of pride for Attila Szalai’s father, as he told Blikk.
When the young centre-back swapped Apollon Limassol for Fenerbahce during the January transfer window, the hope was that Szalai would make a positive first impression at one of the biggest clubs in Turkish football.
Three months on, it is fair to say the 23-year-old powerhouse has gone above and beyond those early expectations.
Szalai has been so impressive that, according to Blikk, there is a real chance that he could be about to go from Cypriot football to the Premier League within the blink of an eye, via a short spell in Istanbul.
Dean Smith’s Aston Villa and Steve Bruce’s Newcastle have reportedly joined Champions League-chasing Leicester in pursuit of a player who, valued at £22 million, could soon become the most expensive Hungarian footballer in history.
“It’s a huge tribute to my son that he’s talked to teams of this level. We have been working since he was a child to get to this level,” his father said.
“It took a lot of work and sacrifice to get to a club the size of Fenerbahce. Of course, you still have to do a lot every day to be successful. He is treated as a family member at the Turkish club, where he also feels great, they trust him.
“I’m not interfering in his career. (He is) a real professional, a warrior for whom I just advise. Son; smile, enjoy football!”
You’d imagine there would be a rather broad grin on Szalai’s face if Aston Villa, Newcastle and Leicester spark a £20 million-plus bidding war for his services during the summer transfer window.