Arda Turan has future at Barcelona says Robert Fernandez
Barcelona sporting director Robert Fernandez has denied that Arda Turan is set to leave the Camp Nou following the arrival of new midfielder Andre Gomes.
Turkey international Arda has had a tough first 12 months at the Catalan club since arriving from Atletico Madrid for €41 million last summer, having to sit out the first half of the 2015-16 season due to Barca's FIFA transfer ban, and then struggling to impress coach Luis Enrique during the second part of the campaign.
The €35 million arrival of Gomes means that Blaugrana coach Luis Enrique now has "overbooking" in midfield, with Andres Iniesta, Ivan Rakitic, Sergi Roberto and Denis Suarez among the players also available for the two central midfield spots ahead of Sergio Busquets in Barca's 4-3-3.
This has seen Turan linked with clubs including Arsenal, Monaco and Besiktas, although the 29-year-old has stressed that he wants to remain and be a success at Barca.
Speaking as Gomes was presented at the Camp Nou on Wednesday afternoon, the club's transfer chief said there high expectations on Arda to perform to the level which first caught Barca's eye, and insisted he was sure this would happen next season.
"We expect a lot from Arda, his performances," Robert said. "He had a difficult year, we must not forget he had the issue of the FIFA ban. And it is not easy to play for Barca. But we are convinced his performances this year will be very good. We are sure that we will see the Arda from Atletico Madrid."
Robert was also asked about Barca's plans to sign a new back-up striker to first choice trio Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez, which has not yet borne fruit this summer.
Sevilla's Kevin Gameiro, Atletico Madrid pair Luciano Vietto and Angel Correa, Palmeiras starlet Gabriel Jesus, and Manchester City's new signing Nolito, are among the players who Barca have targeted but been unable to get this summer. Robert denied he was worried that he would be unable to bring in a player to back-up the South American superstars, although he admitted making the choice was not easy.
"We are on top of the situation -- we could sign a young player, or someone more experienced," he said. "When you are looking for someone to improve the team, you have many names on the table, and must analyse very well who is best for the team.
"It is not easy. For sure more speculation will happen, but we are very relaxed, and know what we want. Me and the 'mister' [Luis Enrique] have talked a lot about this. We have three forwards who are very good, and the fourth forward will appear. We have more than enough time until the Aug. 31 to decide."
Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan