Following weeks of speculation and reports, Aleksandar Kolarov’s five-year adventure at Manchester City looks to be at an end.
According to Istanbul-based newspaper Akşam, 30-year-old Kolarov will be announced as Beşiktaş’ next signing in a day or two.
The Turkish champions released long-serving left-back Ismail Köybaşı yesterday, fueling speculation among Beşiktaş fans that Kolarov would be joining imminently. The club have also received a £2.5 million loan fee for Gökhan Töre, who has joined West Ham for the season with a view to a permanent deal.
With a spot free and income generated, Beşiktaş have now reportedly closed a deal for Kolarov, according to Akşam’s story. It is said that a fee of around €3.5 million (£3 million) was agreed for the Serb, who is expected to earn €3 million (£2.5 million) per season in Istanbul.
Beşiktaş’ rivals Fenerbahçe also expressed an interest in Kolarov, which may have accelerated negotiations. Though the Turkish press is known to be notoriously unreliable, there have also reports from the UK that this transfer would happen.
There had been suggestions that Pep was undecided about letting Kolarov go, but if he now has given the nod, it begs the question, who will replace him? Could 19-year-old EDS full-back Angeliño be in line for a promotion? Will new signing Oleksandr Zinchenko be used in the role? Or could someone like Ricardo Rodríguez be brought in this summer?
15:00 UPDATE: There are now conflicting reports from Turkey (we told you they can be unreliable!), with NTV Spor claiming City have set an €8 million (£6.8 million) price tag for Kolarov, which Beşiktaş consider excessive and could lead to them withdrawing from talks. Lig TV, meanwhile, say a deal is ‘done’ and only needs an announcement.