Fenerbahce director of football Emre Belözoğlu has denied receiving any bids for Ozan Tufan despite rumours of an offer from West Brom, as reported by Hürriyet.
Albion are seemingly on the hunt for a central midfielder, with Leicester City’s Hamza Choudhury the most heavily linked to the club, and a recent report by Turkish newspaper Takvim indicated a bid had been made for Tufan’s services by the Premier League strugglers.
The report said that the bid had been knocked back with the Turkish giants demanding a fee of at least £13.4million.
However former Newcastle United midfielder Emre, who is now Fenerbahce’s director of football, has poured cold water on this talk in a press conference, as reported by Turkish outlet Hürriyet, saying: “Ozan has a very good heart, he is a clean boy. It is necessary to evaluate him whether he has completed his mission in Fenerbahçe or not.
“There is no official offer that has been received. The value of the air created by our Turkish players inside concerns us. It makes me very happy that our Turkish players in particular belong to Ozan.”
Premier League rivals Crystal Palace were also linked with a move for the 25-year-old but both clubs look like missing out.
Midfielder reinforcement is essential business
Whether West Brom’s interest in Tufan is concrete or not this certainly makes a deal sound less likely and could mean Allardyce presses on with his other targets in this position.
One would think that a deal for Choudhury now becomes of paramount importance with the February 1 transfer window deadline only a couple of weeks away.
With Romaine Sawyers and Jake Livermore failing to impress this season and offer any kind of protection to their creaking defence Big Sam must land a midfielder capable of producing the sort of all-action displays that the Premier League requires.
Failure to do so could mean more minutes for two of the lowest-performing (according to WhoScored) players in the division, with both in the bottom 15 (Livermore – fifth, Sawyers – 11th).
Centre back Semi Ajayi started the Saturday’s FA Cup defeat to Blackpool in midfield, an experiment which did not work and laid bare the limited options Allardyce possesses in the middle of the park.
A signing in this position will be absolutely imperative if Albion are to stand any chance of Premier League survival.
In other West Brom news, fans express angst at new takeover reports.