Fenerbahce won’t even consider selling reported Aston Villa, Newcastle United and Leicester City target Attila Szalai for a penny less than £18 million, president Ali Koc has told Hurriyet.
If one of the most exciting young defenders in Europe wanted to make a name for himself at Euro 2020, he couldn’t have asked for a tougher ride.
So far, Szalai has taken on Cristiano Ronaldo, Diogo Jota, Karim Benzema, Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe.
So the fact he has not only survived but thrived is testament not only to his ability but also his attitude.
The rock-solid 23-year-old more than held his own as Hungary ran Portugal close in their Group F opener last week, before restricting World champions France to a draw in a bouncing Budapest.
Aston Villa among clubs eyeing Euro 2020 star Szalai
And, perhaps emboldened by Szalai’s stand-out performance in the so-called ‘Group of Death’, Fenerbahce are determined to eke every penny out of a man who was already in high demand before the tournament began.
“For Attila Szalai, (offers) under €20 million are not even talked about!” Ali Koc insists.
Whether he is true to his word… only the man himself can back that up.
The Foxes will be playing Europa League football next season and, in Brendan Rodgers, have a manager who can be credited with setting Raheem Sterling, Philippe Coutinho, Kieran Tierney, Youri Tielemans and more on the pathway to stardom.
Premier League rivals Aston Villa, Newcastle and West Ham United are also keen.
Szalai’s father believes interest from a number of big-hitters is a “huge tribute” to a defender who was playing in the Cypriot league with Apollon Limassol as recently as January.