By Declan Olley
Last Updated: 13/01/18 12:05pm
Arda Turan failed to make an appearance at Barcelona this season
Arda Turan has joined Turkish league leaders Istanbul Basaksehir on a two-and-a-half-year loan deal from Barcelona.
Turan returns home to Turkey, where he played for Galatasaray and Manisaspor, after finding game-time limited at Barcelona, having not made an appearance this season.
The two-and-a-half-year loan deal, which is the remainder of his contract at Barcelona, still allows the Catalans to sell Turan during that period if a club makes an offer for him.
Turan leaves Barcelona after two-and-a-half seasons at the club
Turan joined Barcelona in 2015 from Atletico Madrid for £24.2m but with the arrival of club-record signing Philippe Coutinho, the 30-year-old has decided to pursue first-team opportunities in Turkey.
He leaves Spain having won two league titles, three Copa del Rey trophies and a Europa League.
The 30-year-old scored just five La Liga goals for Barcelona
Turan’s new club Basaksehir have risen fast over the last two seasons to rival the established Istanbul triumvirate of Besiktas, Fenerbahce and Galatasaray and lead the Super Lig by a point.
Club president Goksel Gumusdag said in a statement.”Arda Turan is returning to his country wearing the orange kit (of Basaksehir). This is not just a transfer for Basaksehir, but a transfer for all of Turkey.”
The fourth-most capped Turkish player will also be hoping to return to his best for the national team after reversing his decision to retire from international football in August.
Turan has won 100 caps for Turkey
Turan is a household name in his home country, where his personal life is followed as closely as his exploits on the field.
After his move to Barca, the authorities in the Istanbul district of Bayrampasa announced that they had named the road where he grew up “Arda Turan Street” in his honour.