Newcastle United hold talks over ‘next Lionel Messi’ signing - £17.4m could seal transfer

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Newcastle United are reportedly interested in signing the ‘Turkish Messi’.

Newcastle United are ‘leading the race’ to sign the ‘next Lionel Messi’ this summer.

Fenerbahce attacking midfielder Arda Guler is attracting interest from the likes of Barcelona, Napoli and Borussia Dortmund - but reports in Turkey claim the Magpies are pushing hardest.

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Since making his debut in 2021, the 18-year-old has made 46 appearances for the Turkish giants - registering nine goals and the same number of assists. His style of play has saw Guler dubbed the ‘Turkish Messi’.

Fenerbahce's Turkish midfielder Arda Guler (R) vies for the ball with Sevilla's Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic (L) during the UEFA Europa League last 16 second leg football match between Fenerbahce SK and Sevilla FC at the Fenerbahce Ulker stadium in Istanbul on March 16, 2023. (Photo by OZAN KOSE / AFP) Fenerbahce's Turkish midfielder Arda Guler (R) vies for the ball with Sevilla's Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic (L) during the UEFA Europa League last 16 second leg football match between Fenerbahce SK and Sevilla FC at the Fenerbahce Ulker stadium in Istanbul on March 16, 2023. (Photo by OZAN KOSE / AFP)
Fenerbahce's Turkish midfielder Arda Guler (R) vies for the ball with Sevilla's Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic (L) during the UEFA Europa League last 16 second leg football match between Fenerbahce SK and Sevilla FC at the Fenerbahce Ulker stadium in Istanbul on March 16, 2023. (Photo by OZAN KOSE / AFP) | AFP via Getty Images

With two years remaining on his current contract, Guler is said to be undecided on whether to pursue a move elsewhere or stay put. Talks over his future are ongoing but a decision won’t be made until the 2022-23 campaign is over.

Officials from Newcastle met with Guler and his representatives in Dubai last week and Fotomac reports that the Magpies are willing to pay €‎20million [£17.4m]. It has, however, been suggested that the player could become available for as little as £4.4m - if he does not play 1,500 minutes of football this season.

Although Guler has featured 30 times for the Super Lig club this term, he has only been in the starting XI for 13 of those fixtures and has played 90 minutes in a league match just twice.

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Fenerbahce want Guler to stay but Erol Tokgozler, who previously coached Guler, has tipped him to leave Turkey in the near future.

“I don’t think Arda will stay in Turkey too long,” Tokgozler told CNN Turk in March. “I know that there are offers from Arsenal and Bayern Munich.

“With each passing match, the number of these (interested) teams will increase. [Bids of] 20 to 30 million euros for Arda will be very ordinary.”

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