A Clasico transfer battle: Real Madrid join rivals Barcelona in pursuit of Fenerbahce wonderkid Arda Guler

Arda Guler Fenerbahce 2022Getty Images
  • Barca's Deco visited Istanbul this week
  • Madrid set to join race
  • Player has modest release clause

WHAT HAPPENED? The Blaugrana seemingly moved into a strong position to secure the Fenerbahce prospect after sporting director Deco travelled to Istanbul on Thursday. Negotiations between the two clubs and the player's representatives went well, with a deal that would see the player arrive in Barcelona in 2024 agreed in principle. But Mundo Deportivo reported on Saturday that rivals Real Madrid are planning a trip of their own, with club legends Emilio Butragueno and Roberto Carlos due to visit.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Guler is one of football's hottest properties following a breakout season at Fenerbahce. While under contract until a 2025, a reported release clause of €17.5 million (£15m/$19m) has seen a host of Europe's top clubs vying for his signature.

AND WHAT'S MORE: Madrid's greater financial freedom may ultimately win the day. While Laporta has managed to pull a range of financial levers in his latest term as president, the club still remain in huge debt.

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Arda Guler Fenerbahce 2022-23Getty ImagesDecoGetty ImagesEmilioButragueno - CroppedGetty Images

WHAT NEXT FOR ARDA GULER? It's already been a good summer for the player, who helped his country to two key Euro 2024 qualifying wins. There may be more good news to come in the following weeks.