Real Madrid confirmed their fourth signing of the summer on Thursday as they welcomed Arda Guler from Fenerbahce, beating FC Barcelona to his capture.
The Merengues will pay a transfer fee of €20 million for the 18-year-old, with another €10 million in add-ons while they have also agreed to a 20% sell-on clause with Fenerbahce.
Guler has signed a six-year contract with Real Madrid and completed another round of medicals today in Spain before he was unveiled at a ceremony by club president Florentino Perez.
Guler then spoke to the media for the first time ever as a Real Madrid player and said: “I want to remember Di Stéfano, first of all. This is the biggest club in the world and I am proud.”
As mentioned earlier, Barcelona were also interested in Guler, but he opted for Los Blancos and said: “There were many offers, but my priority has always been Real Madrid.”
A versatile operator, Guler can play as an attacking midfielder, in central midfield or on the right flank. When asked about which position he felt the most comfortable in, the teenager replied: “I play well in midfield and as a right midfielder. I like both positions.”
“I like to create, but I also like to be offensive. Where I play is up to the coach,” he added.
There have been talks of Guler being loaned out for a year after his arrival at Real Madrid, but the 18-year-old firmly insisted that he feels ready for the big stage and does not think of leaving.
“I feel ready, I’m ready. I’m here to work, to give my all. Yes, I rule out that possibility. I want to stay at Real Madrid,” Guler stated.
“If Madrid give me the opportunity to play, I’m going to take it. I don’t think about going out on loan. Madrid signed me and I’m coming to play here,” he added.
When asked to name some of the Real Madrid icons he idolises, Guler replied: “Cristiano, Özil, Guti… I want to be a legend like them. This is what I’m here for.”
On his chat with Mesut Ozil ahead of the transfer to Madrid, Guler revealed: “He is like a brother. He told me that this is the most important club in the world. He spoke to me very well and gave me a lot of advice.”
Guler also revealed that he had conversations with manager Carlo Ancelotti about his role and position, among other things, saying: “The coach called me and told me he wanted to see me live. He told me where he was going to put me; there are many conversations.”
On his favourite Real Madrid memory, the teenager said: “As for my memories, the Champions League finals come to mind, which I watched with my friends.”
The 18-year-old was once again pressed about the Barcelona offer, but refused to take the bait as he said: “I repeat that there have been many clubs that have made an offer. But as soon as Real Madrid appeared, everything else lost value.”
One of the reasons behind Guler’s decision to join Real Madrid is said to be the chance to learn from legends like Luka Modric and Toni Kroos. Confirming the same, he said: “For me, Modric is the best midfielder in the world and I think I will learn a lot playing with him”.
Reiterating his desire to not leave on loan, Guler added: “Many clubs have expressed their intention to me and I don’t want to go and play for another team. Here I’ve been assured that I’m going to play and that’s it. Going out on loan is not in my plans.”
On what Real Madrid said to convince him to join them, he said: “Today I arrive at the best club in the world and to convince me, they didn’t tell me anything.”
There had been talks of Modric telling Guler that he wants the youngster to take over the No. 10 shirt next season. But the 18-year-old did not give anything away about such talks, saying:
“I don’t know anything about that. For me, Modric is the best midfielder in the world, nothing else.”
On leaving Fenerbahce, he said: “Emotionally, it was very hard to leave Fenerbahce. We will get over it. They want me to succeed in my career.”
French midfielder admits considering PSG move before Real Madrid called him
Aurelien Tchouameni has had an exciting start to his career at Real Madrid. Since joining the club for almost €80 million last summer, the young Frenchman has now become a pivotal figure in Real Madrid’s midfield unit.
However, prior to his move to Santiago Bernabeu, the midfielder was closely linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain.
In a recent interview, Tchouameni opened up on his links to PSG but revealed his decision to join Real Madrid.
Aurelien Tchouameni on PSG links
Talking about speculations linking him to PSG, Tchouameni said (h/t Madrid Zone), “PSG? Frankly, I thought about it. It’s a very big European club, we want the French clubs to succeed.”
“But honestly, when Real Madrid calls you, it’s very complicated to say no,” Tchouameni added.
The midfielder was linked with a move to PSG during his time at AS Monaco. Les Parisiens wanted to sign the youngster as part of their plans to reinforce the midfield unit.
Tchouameni, though, ended up opting for a move to Real Madrid, which turned out to be a prudent decision from the midfielder’s end.
Tchouameni’s career at Real Madrid
Aurelien Tchouameni made a total of 50 competitive appearances during his maiden season at Real Madrid.
Although the Frenchman was not entirely a first-team regular in Carlo Ancelotti’s setup, his stature in the team is expected to grow in the coming years.
Especially as Toni Kroos and Luka Modric move on at the end of the season, there is scope for Tchouameni to become a first-team regular in the Real Madrid midfield in the years to come.
The former AS Monaco starlet has already played a crucial role in the starting eleven so far this season and it is only going to continue as the season progresses.