Monday, July 02, 2007

Umit Karan Staying at Galatasaray

Umit Karan Staying at Galatasaray
By Nathan L. Redd

Speculation that Galatasaray star Umit Karan would leave the team to join rivals Fenerbahce has been put to rest. Karan announced over the weekend that he would be staying with Galatasaray following a meeting with new manager Karl-Heinz Feldkamp. The rumors of Karan's impending departure actually kept him out of pre-season training while Galatasaray tried to sort out what was happening.

After the announcement, Karan told reporters “It is a good thing for a player to be wanted by other clubs, but I have nothing to say about a move to Fenerbahçe. It all happened beyond my control, I have an ongoing contract with my club and I am hopeful to fulfill it.”

Fenerbahce never publicly confirmed nor denied the rumors about Karan. Speculation has been rampant that Karan's agent contacted Fenerbahce first, but no one seems to know exactly how the events unfolded. Nevertheless, Karan will stay with Galatasaray, providing even more fuel for the already-bitter rivalry.

Fenerbahce has been busy during the offseason, but it appears that the club is now waiting on a decision by the Turkish Futbol Federation on its foreign-player limit. Fenerbahce is expected to bring in additional transfers, including a striker, and may have some big names still on its wanted list. However, President Aziz Yildirim and the board appear to be waiting on this ruling before making its next move. The TFF, on the other hand, seems to be delaying this decision as long as possible, which could put Fenerbahce a bit behind on its timeframe for additional transfers.

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