Reported Arsenal target Ali Akman has spoken of his desire to go from Turkey straight to one of Europe’s top leagues.
According to the Daily Mail, the 18-year-old Bursaspor gem is on Arsenal’s radar, but Chelsea have also thrown their name in the hat.
Meanwhile, Red Bull Salzburg and Galatasaray apparently tried to strike a deal for the teenager in December, and clubs from Germany, Italy and France are also said to be eyeing the player.
Akman is already playing for Bursaspor’s first team and has caught the attention of Europe’s elite with an impressive 10 goals and four assists from 19 games this season.
His 10th goal of 2020-21 came in Saturday’s 2-1 league win over Adana Demirspor, a superb Lionel Messi-esque chip over the opposition keeper.
“I watch European games a lot,” Akman told TRT Spor. “Lionel Messi is doing this shot frequently. It is a shot that leaves the goalkeepers desperate.
“I watched it for hours without getting bored and scratched my head. I have been thinking about that goal for a year. I wanted to score such a goal. (Now) I show myself that I can.”
The Daily Mail report claims that that Akman’s contract expires at the end of the season and he doesn’t plan on renewing it, hence Bursaspor are willing to listen to offers this month for him.
The Turkish second-tier side is said to be looking for around £3million, but they could be forced to sell him for less due to the impact on the football industry caused by the global health crisis.
And Akman is certainly eager to test himself at the highest level, going straight to one of Europe’s top leagues instead of one of the Superlig’s Istanbul giants.
“I want to prepare myself for the highest level,” he said.
“I want to follow the right paths for this. I think it will be right to progress gradually. I see the potential to rise to the highest level.
“I trust myself. I’m doing everything well. Is the target Europe over Istanbul? I want to go (to Europe) directly.”
Akman has certainly shown he’s a cut above in the Turkish second tier and looks destined for a big move.
Chances are he’ll need a while to get up to scratch were he to join Arsenal, potentially linking up with the Under-23s to begin with.
However, Mikel Arteta has shown he’s not afraid to give the Hale End gems first-team game time, so that would bode very well for Akman.