Premier League new boys Reading face a battle to keep Jem Karacan after contract negotiations with the Turkish midfielder have stalled.
The Daily Star reported that Aston Villa, Newcastle, West Ham and Turkish giants Fenerbahce and Galatasaray are looking to capitalise on the midfielder’s uncertain future.
It is thought that the academy graduate is disgruntled by his offer in comparison to the lucrative contracts given to new signings Danny Guthrie and Pavel Pogrebnyak.
The Turkish u21 has one year remaining on his current deal and the Royals will be keen to sort out a new deal with a player who was integral to their promotion last season. Karacan played 37 games and although a broken ankle ended his season prematurely, he still finished runner up in the clubs Player of the Year poll.
Should both parties not come to a satisfactory agreement the Turkish u21 captain appears to have a choice of numerous possible suitors.
Born in London, Karacan qualifies to represent Turkey due to his father and has repeatedly been linked with move there. It would be a significant move for the midfielder with both Galatasaray, his father’s team, and Fenerbahce both in this season’s Champions League.
However, the Super Lig champions are trying to sign Felipe Melo on a permanent deal while Fenerbahce have the likes of Mehmet Topal and Alex in midfielder, so his playing opportunities could well be limited.
Should he depart the Madjeski Stadium, it seems it will be for another Premier League club. In April Karacan was quoted as saying he felt his best chance of becoming a full international was playing in England’s top flight.
With such aspirations the 23-year-old will want to be playing regularly. You would not, therefore, expect the North East to be his preferred destination. Yohan Cabaye and Cheik Tiote won many admirers last season and will be crucial for the Magpies this season, so Karacan could well be confined to the bench.
It is a similar situation at West Ham. Kevin Nolan and Mark Noble will be the first name on the team sheet for the Hammers and with Mohamed Diame joining, the Royals central midfielder would have to prove his worth against players with Premier League experience.
Of the three clubs suggested to be interested, Aston Villa appear to be the best option. The Villains have a number of central midfielders although many of them are fairly inexperienced and you expect Karacan to fancy his chances of forcing his way into Paul Lambert’s plans.
Despite rumoured interest, Karacan should approach a move away from the Madjeski with caution. Having recovered from a broken ankle, he would be well advised to focus on forcing his way back into McDermott’s plans and proving himself in the Premier League.
At Reading he has fulfilled his ambition of playing in the Premier Leaugue and the club can continue to provide a platform which would allow him to achieve international recognition.