Arda Guler chooses to join Real Madrid ahead of Barcelona this summer – The Athletic

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Arda Guler has chosen to join Real Madrid this summer.
The 18-year-old attacking midfielder had received strong interest from Barcelona, as revealed by club president Joan Laporta himself, but he has decided to join Real Madrid.
Once the deal is closed, he is expected to join Carlo Ancelotti’s squad for the pre-season. Final talks to finish the negotiation process will take place this week.
Guler has a contract until 2025 that includes a release clause of €17.5million (£15m; $19m), which Fenerbahce asked to be met. Real Madrid are expected to pay more than the release clause to ensure he has a smooth exit from Turkey. Fenerbahce have also included a 20 per cent sell-on clause.
The Turkey international matches the profile of Real’s recent transfer strategy: he is young, talented and available at a price that is seen as reasonable, considering his potential.
Likened to Mesut Ozil due to his technical excellence, Guler was in superb form for Fenerbahce last season. No one in his age group in the Super Lig and Europe’s top five leagues had more goal involvements and he also appeared on the longlist for Tuttosport’s Golden Boy award last month.
Follow the summer transfer window with The Athletic
Guler scored six goals and claimed seven assists last season in 35 games for Fenerbahce, who finished second in the Turkish Super Lig.
Although he turned 18 in February, Guler has already made four appearances for Turkey’s senior national team, playing 145 minutes and scoring one goal.
He can play as a false winger, and likes to operate in the centre even if he starts from the wing. In his country, his style of play has been compared to that of Ozil, the 34-year-old ex-Germany international who retired in March.
Ozil was a Fenerbahce player during the 2021–2022 season, when Guler made his senior debut for the club, and was also at Madrid from 2010-2013.
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(Photo: Getty Images)

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Mario Cortegana Santos is a Football Writer for The Athletic covering Real Madrid. He has followed Los Blancos since 2019 at Diario AS, and MARCA. He usually appears on Gol TV and is a main collaborator in the YouTube show The Four Amigos Podcast. He has covered the EURO 2020 and Qatar 2022. Follow Mario on Twitter @MarioCortegana


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