Barcelona midfielder Arda Turan has joined Istanbul Basaksehir on a long-term loan deal.
The 30-year-old midfielder has been allowed to leave after failing to establish himself at the Camp Nou following his move from La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid in 2015.
Turan rejected the chance to leave Barca in the past as he held out hope of establishing himself in the first team, but the off-season arrival of Ernesto Valverde spelt the end of his career in Catalonia.
The Turkey international heads back home to link up with the Super Lig leaders on a two-and-a-half year loan – much to the delight of Basaksehir president Goksel Gumusdag.
Resmen Başakşehirli… pic.twitter.com/awP0geHY5u
— İstanbul Başakşehir (@ibfk2014) January 13, 2018
“Arda Turan is returning to his country wearing the orange kit (of Basaksehir). This is not just a transfer for Basaksehir, but a transfer for all of Turkey,” Gumusdag said in a statement.
Turan departs the Catalans giants in the same week that they signed Philippe Coutinho for a club-record fee from Liverpool.
He was met by a large crowd of fans at the airport as he arrived in Istanbul.
“I’m here not just for short-term goals, but for long-term success,” he was quoted as saying.
Basaksehir have risen rapidly over the last couple of years to rival the established trio of Istanbul clubs Besiktas, Fenerbahce and Galatasaray.
Time to say goodbye. pic.twitter.com/JEuiz97uO3
— Arda Turan (@ArdaTuran) January 13, 2018
Turan posted a farewell message following the announcement of his move, saying that playing for Barcelona was a dream and that he was proud to make it happen.
As Turan left, another player arrived at the Nou Camp as Colombian central defender Yerry Mina was unveiled in front of fans.
Mina joined from Palmeiras on Thursday on a five-and-a-half year deal for £10.5 million.
During his presentation to the fans on Saturday, Mina took off his shoes and socks before stepping onto the pitch.
Asked about his ritual, Mina replied that he does the same thing at every club he joins, while quoting from the bible: “With the sole of your feet will touch the ground you want to conquer and I want to succeed here.”