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Galatasaray going for it with Karacan capture and Podolski purchase

Nobody can say Turkish giants Galatasaray are resting on their laurels after winning the Super Lig last term. The Istanbul outfit have signed up English-based pair Lukas Podolski and Jerm Karacan to bolster their attacking and anchorman areas respectively.

Across Turkey’s capital, Fenerbahce are set to net Robin van Persie, while Gala’s other noisy neighbours Besiktas are coming to terms with selling Demba Ba. Poaching Podolski from Arsenal on the cheap, while their rivals spend big on another albeit injury-prone household name and are struggling to find a replacement respectively, is brilliant business.

Karacan, 26 and sidelined by a serious knee injury which resulted in his Reading contract running down, will find competition for places especially cut-throat, unless Galatasaray head coach Hamza Hamzaoglu moves some other midfielders on.

Brazil hatchet-man Felipe Melo has always been a blunt instrument, and it may be his ageing legs at 32 that Karacan’s capture is supposed to relieve. Pairing him with Macedonian-born Switzerland international and former Bolton Wanderers player Blerim Dzemaili in the engine room is one option, but this would lack silk to go with their steel.

Hamit Altintop (also 32) is still around, while there’s also late bloomer Yekta Kurtulus to consider. Hamzaoglu almost has an embarrassment of riches for midfield, and certainly cannot field all of his options at once.

Gala skipper Selcuk Inan’s creativity is needed in case previous marquee signing Wesley Sneijder fails to produce. Could former hero Arda Turan come back on a cheeky six-month loan deal and wait out Barcelona’s ban on fielding players signed this summer?

Such a short-term swoop would strengthen Galatasaray’s hand even further as they prepare to defend the Super Lig title. Taking Turan temporarily, something that would be beneficial to Barca too as one of their big money buys would avoid losing match fitness, is an avenue that should definitely be explored.

Turan and Podolski, let’s not forget a World Cup winner with Germany, flanking Gala goal machine Burak Yilmaz in a 4-3-3/3-2-3-1 system, which would also include Sneijder, Selcuk Inan and Karacan completing the front six, could challenge both on the domestic scene and in continental competition.