Fenerbahce decided against bringing Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Joe Hart to Istanbul after snapping up Turkey U21 international Altay Bayindir instead, former coach Alper Boguslu has told Hurriyet Sport.
One of the biggest clubs in the Super Lig probably made the right call, in the end.
While Hart is in the autumn of his career, leaves crunching underfoot, 23-year-old Bayindir is only just getting started.
And with clubs in all corners of the continent showing an interest in the former Ankaragucu youngster, £12 million-rated Bayindir is guaranteed to make Fenerbahce a huge profit in the future.
During his time at the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium, then-goalkeeping coach Boguslu was given the responsibility of finding a new number one.
He turned his attention to Hart, at least initially, before deciding Bayindir represented a more astute addition.
“(Former Fenerbahce manager) Ersun Yanal asked my opinion. As the goalkeeping coach, I was on a mission not to make a mistake in this matter – and I think I was successful,” Boguslu says.
“I watched England international goalkeeper Joe Hart live. I knew his character was good and he was on my list as a top goalkeeper. But (signing him) wasn’t necessary.”
At the time, Hart was still warming the bench at Burnley.
The 34-year-old eventually made a shock switch to Tottenham in summer 2020, with Jose Mourinho believing his experience and silver-coated CV would make him a fine addition to a callow dressing room.
It remains to be seen what the future holds for Hart at Spurs now, however, after Daniel Levy handed Mourinho his P45 last week.