Atletico Madrid have entered the race for Bayer Leverkusen ace Hakan Calhanoglu.
Atletico after having enquired about the availability of the 23-year-old free-kick specialist last summer, are now reportedly ready for a £17 million bid. Despite Leverkusen’s reluctance to let go Calhanoglu, the Madrid giants retain their interest in prising him away from Germany.
However, another outlet in Calhanoglu’s home nation, Ajanspor, earlier reported that Chelsea are ready for a summer move to land the attacking midfielder and will happily pay his £32.9m release clause.
The Blues are eager to offer Calhanoglu a three-year contract to join Antonio Conte’s revolution at the Stamford Bridge, but Atletico could spoil the party Chelsea are planning by throwing a spanner in the works and attempting to lure him to Spain’s capital.
Calhanoglu’s contract with Leverkusen runs until the summer of 2019, but his current employers would be powerless to stop him leaving if European giants like Chelsea, Manchester United or Atleti offer the required cash to pull him away from his deal at the BayArena.
He had been in impressive form for the Bundesliga club until February 3, with Calhanoglu scoring seven goals and seven assists in 22 appearances, but was absent from Leverkusen’s Champions League last-16 two-legged tie, ironically against Atletico, for a problematic issue from six years ago.
Calhanoglu was slapped with a 4-month suspension by FIFA after his former club Trabzonspor lodged a complaint against him over a breach of contract back when he was 17 years old.