Everton join Chelsea in race for free-kick maestro Calhanoglu
Bayer Leverkusen free-kick maestro Hakan Calhanoglu has attracted widespread interest from the Premier League. A source close to the player recently revealed to Turkish-Football.com that Chelsea made an offer and that the Blues along with Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham have been keeping tabs on the Turkish international.
The clubs mentioned above have now been joined by Everton who are also scouting the 22-year-old.
The Toffees are yet to make a formal offer and Bayer are not prepared to sell Calhanoglu in January.
The attacking-midfielder could end up being involved in a bidding war over the summer with leading Premier League sides expressing an interest.
Everton will be able to challenge the leagues financial powerhouses in the transfer market this summer following investment from major-shareholder Farhad Moshiri.
The Toffees were prepared to give Ronald Koeman a £50 million war chest over the winter transfer window according to the Mirror.
Everton have already shelled out £19.47m (Transfermarkt) for Morgan Schneiderlin and £7.48m for Ademola Lookman this month.
Calhanoglu has been in great form for Bayer this season and already has nine goals and six assists in all competitions.
The attacking-midfielder bagged a brace in the 3-1 win over Hertha Berlin over the weekend.
Calhanoglu is renowned for his set-piece taking ability. The Turkish international has converted 10.2 percent of his free-kick efforts since 2012-13 – behind only Pirlo (12.8 percent) and Panic (15 percent).
The Bayer star also has an impressive record for scoring from outside the penalty area.
Calhanoglu is third scoring from outside the box in Europe’s top 5 leagues since 2013 meeting 17 times behind Ronaldo (18) and Messi (17).
The 22-year-old is a Turkish international with 23 caps but he would not require a work permit to play in England as he was born in Germany.
Calhanoglu would join Arsenal star Mesut Ozil, Liverpool midfielder Emre Can, Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan and West Ham winger Gokhan Tore who are also Germany born Turks.