Following the appointment of Jorge Jesus, the highly experienced former Benfica manager is set to shake things up at Fenerbahce, who finished second in the Turkish Super Lig behind city rivals Trabzonspor last season.
Heading into the 2022-23 campaign, the club are keen to take a significant step forward by backing their new head coach with funds to improve the squad, which could be boosted by the lucrative sale of existing players. According to English digital sports outlet HITC, a potential departure could be Attila Szalai, who gained a glowing reputation during his time at Fenerbahce.
Reports point to interest from new Premier League side Nottingham Forest, who sent scouts to watch Szalai during Hungary’s surprise UEFA Nations League victory over England, when he played on the left side of a central defensive trio. Considering he played a key role with his national team keeping a clean sheet, containing many threats posed by the England team, these scouts will no doubt have been impressed with the performance they witnessed.
Fenerbahce will not sell cheap
Szalai has gone from strength to strength since arriving from Cypriot side Apollon Limassol which cost Fenerbahce around €2.2m in the January 2021 transfer window. Now the Turkish club could be on the verge of to make a huge profit on the Hungary international, especially as several English Premier League clubs are monitoring his progress.
Throughout his 52 appearances for Fenerbahce, the imposing centre-back Szalai continued to develop his defensive skills, rating his concentration and passing game highly on various tactical analysis websites. Those attributes would make him a perfect fit for Nottingham Forest’s tactical preferences under head coach Steve Cooper, who likes his players to be confident when in possession of the ball.
— Attila Szalai (@atilla__szalai) April 9, 2022
While it would be unfortunate for Fenerbahce to lose such a key player, they are still open to negotiations, provided firm offers are made in accordance with their own price estimates. Indeed, if Nottingham Forest made an official offer to sign Szalai, the Turkish club would have to ask for a transfer fee of around €12m, which is within their current budget. valuation estimated by Transfermarkt in June 2022.
Still, given the wealth Premier League clubs have at their disposal, it’s fair to say that if other English clubs show interest, Fenerbahce could easily hold their own for a bigger transfer fee. Likewise, they have no pressing need to sell the player, given that Szalai has a contract with the club until June 2025, bearing in mind that his former club Apollon Limassol retains a sale clause of 13.5%.
Szalai could be selected for Super Lig title bid
Over the next few weeks, new Fenerbahce boss Jorge Jesus will assess the squad options available, aware that retaining the best players will be an important consideration. Of course, money always talks and while the club may be keen to raise additional funds, they will be equally keen to avoid a ninth successive season without winning silverware.
Fenerbahce last won the Super Lig title in the 2013-14 season, as well as the Turkish Super Cup in 2014, while their best continental run came in 2012-13 when they reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Europa League. Current odds put them among the favorites for trophies in Turkey next season, check the best soccer betting sites at Arabian Betting is always worthwhile, as their experts carefully review the most competitive odds and bonus promotions available.
Selling important players would obviously play against Fenerbahçe, even if accepting transfer offers eventually becomes unavoidable, even if it will also be necessary to find shrewd replacements. This is where Jorge Jesus’ knowledge and experience can come in particularly handy, given his track record of bringing in quality players at great prices. Such insight will be invaluable to the Turkish club going forward as they aim to raise the bar from last season.