Arsenal favourites to land £20m Man Utd target involved in 18 goals last season

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Turkey's midfielder Oguzhan Ozyakup (C) celebrates after scoring a goal against Netherlands during the Euro 2016 qualifying football match between Turkey and Netherlands at the Arena Stadium in Konya, on September 6, 2015 in Konya. AFP PHOTO / STRINGER (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Arsenal are favourites to sign Besiktas star midfielder – and former academy player – Oguzhan Ozyakup according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Per the source, AC Milan and Borussia Dortmund are also in the race to sign the Turkish international midfielder but his preferred choice of destination is Arsenal.

The Daily Star meanwhile report that the Manchester United are prepared to offer £20 million for the midfielder. United have been keeping tabs on Ozyakup over the past 12 months.

Arsenal being his preferred choice is little surprise considering he was a youth product at the club and grew up in the academy spending time living with Robin van Persie and watching Cesc Fabregas on the training grounds.

Ozyakup left North London for Istanbul in 2012 in search of first-team football and has gone onto establish himself as a star player over the past four seasons.

The 23-year-old midfielder contributed directly to 18 goals – 10 goals, 8 assists – for the Black Eagles last season, playing a key role in winning the league title and booking a place in the Champions League group stages.

Turkish-football.com recently reported that Ozyakup will not be sold this summer as Besiktas have already loaned out Gokhan Tore to West Ham and on-loan striker Mario Gomez has confirmed he will not be returning to Turkey.

Speaking at Adriano’s signing ceremony Besiktas president Fikret Orman revealed that he wants Ozyakup to stay at the club for another 12 months.

“Ozyakup was come a long way in four years, he is our stay player and will stay this season and experience Champions League football as a star player,” he said.

“It has been a great pleasure to see him develop and he will be here this season but once his mission at Besiktas is complete he can decide his future. 

“I would love him to stay here until he retires but we will discuss his future next season.”

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