Hamburg midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu has welcomed reported interest from Arsenal, amid speculation that the Turkey international could be on his way to the Premier League in January.
Calhanoglu signed for Hamburg from Karlsruher in 2012 and was immediately sent back out on loan to his former club for another season, helping them to gain promotion to Bundesliga II by scoring 17 goals in 36 matches.
The 19-year-old has gone on to impress for Hamburg this term -- his debut season in the Bundesliga -- scoring four goals in 14 appearances and gaining a first international cap for Turkey in the process.
Such performances have led to reports in the German media that Calhanoglu, who is currently contracted to Hamburg until 2016, has attracted interest from the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool.
“It is a great honour for me when a club like Arsenal show their interest in me,” Calhanoglu told Bild.
The player’s agent, Bektas Demirtas, added in Hamburger Abendblatt: “I think the English clubs will approach HSV in December or January.”
Hamburg sporting director Oliver Kreuzer is hoping to renew Calhanoglu’s contract until 2018, but he knows he faces further competition from a number of other Premier League clubs to hang on to the set-piece specialist.
“Not only Liverpool and Arsenal show interest,” Kreuzer told Bild.
According to the German tabloid, Manchester City and Chelsea have also sent their scouts to Hamburg in recent weeks to watch the midfielder.
However, Kreuzer has not given up hope on Hamburg being able to persuade Calanhoglu to extend his stay at the Bundesliga club.
“I indeed believe that Hakan is not against prolonging his contract,” he said. “But when Liverpool and Arsenal turn up at your doorstep the lad might reconsider.”