Tolgay Arslan transfer controversy

Updated: January 26, 2015

In the past two days there has been a lot of controversy surrounding Hamburg midfielder Tolgay Arslan and where he would continue his career.

Prior to the weekend it was widely reported that Tolgay had reached an agreement with Beşiktaş despite interest of other clubs, including Trabzonspor.

However, on Saturday the news broke on social media and several main sports websites such as NTV Spor and Sporx that Trabzonspor had swooped in with an ultimate bid for Tolgay offering him a guaranteed wage over €2.000.000 per season plus bonusses, more than double the amount which Tolgay had agreed uppon to sign for Beşiktaş.

It was also reported that Ibrahim Haciosmanoglu, Trabzonspor’s chairman, was on his way to Germany to convince the 24-year old player to sign for Trabzonspor instead.

In responce to this, Tolgay’s father Erhan Arslan called in to the BEYAZ FUTBOL show on Beyaz TV.

Tolgay’s father stated very clearly that htey had not heard from either Trabzonspor or their chairman Ibrahim Haciosmanoglu. However he admitted that if they would contact him the following day that he and his son would be willing to meet with Trabzonspor to listen to their offer as no contract had been signed yet at that time so they were simply free to do so.

Tolgay’s father answered every question the show’s hosts asked of him, he even truthfully answered that he and his son were both Galatasaray fans.

The following day, a picture got spread on social media. Including Tolgay himself, Trabzonspor coach Ersun Yanal and chairman Ibrahim Haciosmanoglu.


This quickly spread the news that Tolgay had reached terms with Trabzonspor and had supposedly rejected Beşiktaş’ offer.

However, two hours after this picture went viral it became known that Tolgay was at that very moment in talks with Beşiktaş officials Erdal Torunogullari and Ali Naibi. Shortly thereafter Trabzonspor announced on their official website that they had abandoned the transfer.

As soon as the transfer was cancelled Trabzon media started firing a lot of accusations towards Tolgay’s father and Beşiktaş.

They had been interested in the player for longer, 4-5 months in fact. (eventhough ANC revealed last week that they had been following Tolgay closely for over six months)

They claimed that they had agreed with Tolgay last week already. If that’s the case, why did Tolgay say multiple times that he is leaning towards Beşiktaş? Why did his father say live on the air that Tolgay wants to play for Beşiktaş? Why would he lie? As a negotiation tactic? Wouldn’t it be much smarter to say “yes, Trabzonspor is interested in Tolgay and offers more than Beşiktaş.” in order to get better offers from Beşiktaş and/or any other interested club? Rather than say “no we haven’t heard of them”.

If Trabzonspor had reached an agreement with Tolgay last week already, then why did Ibrahim Haciosmanoglu and his entire entourage fly to Germany to convicne the player to sign with them? Why didn’t Tolgay just fly to Trabzon to undergo his medical, as these things usually go?

It was even said by one of the agents who was negotiatin on behalf of Trabzonspor that “they didn’t even know Beşiktaş was interested in the player.”, only a few hours after that was said their own chairman Ibrahim Haciosmanoglu admitted live on the air on Beyaz TV that they were perfectly aware of Beşiktaş’ interest.

The story they have told is full of holes, while the other story ‘Trabzonspor simply offered a lot more money to convince the player to sign for them but got rejected’ is far simpler and less full of holes.

Who knows, maybe Tolgay only wanted to meet with Beşiktaş out of curtosy or respect, fact of the matter is that he insisted on still meeting with Beşiktaş officials before signing any deal with Trabzonspor and clearly that was not to the liking of Trabzonspor.


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Kaan Bayazit

Editor-in-chief at Beşiktaş International
Freelance sports writer specialized in Turkish football and Beşiktaş. Co-host of the Black Eagles podcast. Frequently featured in World Soccer Digest Japan and many other international media outlets. Following Turkish football for close to two decades. Proud father to Aedin.
Kaan Bayazit
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