Besiktas sign Pepe, who’s next?
Besiktas’ signing of Portugal defender Pepe on a free transfer is a sign of the club’s intention to make its mark in Europe next season.
The former Real Madrid centre-back was linked with a move to the Premier League, but has signed a three-year deal with the Turkish champions.
Pepe spent a decade with Madrid, winning three La Liga titles and three Champions League winners’ medals, but injuries limited him to 18 appearances in all competitions last season.
The Chelsea striker has been told he can leave Stamford Bridge and although a return to Atletico Madrid is his preferred option, their transfer ban complicates matters.
Besiktas tried to sign Costa six years ago from Atletico, but he joined Rayo Vallecano on loan instead.
With Giroud now being targeted by Everton and West Ham, and with rumours of mega-money move to China failing to come to fruition, Costa could be a viable alternative for the Turkish side.
The lure of the Champions League could also tempt Manchester City and England goalkeeper Joe Hart into joining the Super Lig outfit.
Hart is set to leave the Etihad Stadium as he does not figure in manager Pep Guardiola’s plans, and while there has been some interest from the Premier League the 30-year-old may decide to look abroad.
Watford and Newcastle United are amongst the clubs linked with Hart, but neither can offer European football.
Current Besiktas goalie Fabri has been linked with a move to Olympiacos and Hart would be an ideal replacement having done well on loan at Torino last season.
Hart’s City teammate Bony is another player who is set to leave the Etihad Stadium this summer.
Guardiola shipped the Ivorian out of the club to Stoke City on loan last term, but the Potters have decided against making the move permanent.
According to Foot Mercato, City want £17.5 million for Bony and that has alerted both Besiktas and big rivals Fenerbahce.
The was 28-year-old was the top scorer in the Eredivisie in 2012/13, securing himself a £12 million move to Swansea City.
He joined City for £28 million in 2015, but struggled to recapture his form and a move to Besiktas could revitalise the powerful striker.