Bayer 04 Leverkusen midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu has had to firmly deny reports in the Turkish press that he wanted to move to Chelsea in the summer. No stranger to controversy, Hakan Calhanoglu is currently serving a four-month football ban having reneged on a contract to join Trabzonspor in 2011.
Hakan Calhanoglu interesting Chelsea?
Hakan Calhanoglu was quoted by Turkish newspaper Fanatik that he was hoping to play for Premier League leaders Chelsea next season. The 22-year-old Turkey international signed for Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the summer of 2014 from Hamburger SV. In his three seasons with the club he has played 114 times, scoring 28 goals, including seven goals in 21 appearances this season.
Hakan Calhanoglu refuted the report in a tweet on Monday, saying that he had said nothing about Chelsea to the press and that he hadn’t spoken to any Turkish journalists about the court decision or his future.
Fanatik had reported that Chelsea had identified Hakan Calhanoglu as a summer signing to replace Brazilian midfielder Oscar who left for Shanghai SIPG for £60million in January.
Hakan Calhanoglu a controversial figure
The midfielder is no stranger to controversy. In 2011, the then 17-year-old Hakan Calhanoglu and his father received a payment of €100,000 each from Trabzonzpor for the midfielder to sign a contract with the club. However, Hakan Calhanoglu reneged on the agreement and signed a contract with Karlsruher SC instead having broken into the first team.
The Turkish club had chased a much larger sum in damages but this was rejected in the ruling made by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. CAS confirmed that a ban imposed on Hakan Calhanoglu by FIFA which had been frozen under appeal would be reinstated with immediate effect, and that he would have to repay the €100,000 advanced to him.
The ban is a bitter blow against Bayer 04 Leverkusen, who had nothing to do with the original offence and now lost the services of the player for the remainder of the season. The young midfielder has six goals and five assists in his 15 Bundesliga appearances prior to the ruling, leaving Bayer 04 Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voller to reflect on how the ban as having a big impact on the team as well as the player.
Will Bayer 04 Leverkusen miss Hakan Calhanoglu
Bayer 04 Leverkusen face Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday in what will be a tough match. Frankfurt lie third in the table some six places and 11 points better off than Bayer. Can Roger Schmidt’s side cope without Hakan Calhanoglu.