ESPN FC reported on Thursday that Turkish giants Besiktas have cast an eye toward England in pursuit of a replacement for departed striker Cenk Tosun. Tosun inked a deal to join Everton earlier this month, and Besiktas are reportedly interested in replacing him with Danny Welbeck, Javier Hernandez, Islam Slimani or Kelechi Iheanacho.
Besiktas have a number of important games coming up on the schedule, including a Champions League clash with Bayern Munich. The side wants to make sure they have a replacement striker in place before the January transfer window comes to a close, so it makes sense that they’re looking to England to find one.
With the club still having to operate under financial fair play regulations, Besiktas are in the market for a goalscoring option that won’t break the bank. There was a time when either Welbeck or Hernandez would have cost a ton to bring in, but some of the shine has come off of both players of late. ESPN additionally reported that the club’s president, Fikret Orman, is in London currently along with club officials with the goal of getting a deal done as soon as possible.
If you’re looking for a new online betting site, you’re unlikely to find one with odds telling you that Besiktas will get past Bayern as presently constructed. Adding one of the aforementioned strikers won’t do much to help those odds, either, but any reinforcements will be welcome in light of the departure of Tosun. Welbeck may be top priority, but Hernandez, Slimani or Iheanacho would provide a bolst too.
Besiktas reportedly have yet to contact Arsenal regarding the availability of Welbeck, but he is still a top target. Besiktas has made formal overtures for Hernandez, Slimani and Iheanacho. Hernandez and Slimani are viewed as the two most likely to end up in Turkey.
Besiktas wants Hernandez, who is in the midst of his first season at West Ham, on a loan until the end of the season with an option to make it a permanent deal in the summer. Chicharito has seen his playing time slashed at West Ham since David Moyes took over, and he is reportedly eagerly seeking regular playing time ahead of this summer’s World Cup. While Hernandez would seem a lock to make the Mexico squad, nothing is certain, especially if he’s out of form.
With Besiktas, Hernandez would be guaranteed the chance to play regular first-team football, as well as the opportunity to play in Champions League. Hernandez currently holds the record for most Champions League appearances by a Mexican player. He spent several successful years at Manchester United before playing his most recent Champions League football with Bayer Leverkusen of the Bundesliga.
Besiktas have additionally asked Leicester about a loan deal until the end of the season for Slimani which would include a buy-out clause. The Turkish club believes that Slimani would welcome the move, but Leicester seem reluctant to part ways with the 29-year-old.
Slimani is under contract until 2021, but he has struggled to earn regular playing time under new manager Claude Puel. Slimani has bagged just 13 goals in all competitions since joining Leicester from Sporting Lisbon in 2016.