David Ospina might prove to be a tall order for Beşiktaş

Updated: July 24, 2018

Whenever Beşiktaş have been looking for a new goalkeeper over the past six years the name of Colombia International David Ospina gets consistently brought up.

With Ospina having struggled for playing time over the past few years at Arsenal and his desire to leave the Gunners in pursuit of more regular playing time, he has once again been linked to the Black Eagles following the exit of their Spanish number one Fabri (who joined Fulham for €6m).

Beşiktaş are known to consistenty go after the same targets, if a transfer may not work out in one particular window they may end up getting their man later down the road. Case and point Domagoj Vida, whom Beşiktaş have been trying to recruit for atleast two years prior to the placement of his actual signature. Another example of this is Ryan Babel and even Jeremain Lens. Beşiktaş don’t forget about a potential target just because a transfer didn’t work out the first, second or even third time around.

Beşiktaş fans have had their Ospina jerseys ready for several years now… has the time finally come for him to put on one of those shirts?

But David Ospina is by far the player which the club has been keeping tabs on the longest. Ever since Fikret Orman became Beşiktaş president in mid 2012, the Black Eagles have kept very close tabs on the Colombian. With former goalkeeper, fellow Colombian and club legend Oscar Cordoba highly recommending him to the club, Beşiktaş were close on a deal when Ospina still played for OGC Nice, but couldn’t find the funds necessary to complete the transfer back in the Summer of 2012.

Fast forward a couple of years and David Ospina finds himself on the bench at Arsenal, once again Beşiktaş and in particular the Beşiktaş fans were strongly going after Ospina and in truth the whole #ComeToBeşiktaş campaign, that over the past year or so has become famous across the entire world, originated back in 2016 or so when Beşiktaş came knocking for David Ospina a second time around.

Over a full year before the #ComeToBeşiktaş ‘campaign’ went truely global, Beşiktaş fans were already urging David Ospina to make the move way before the club ever marketted the slogan.

Ultimately a transfer then proved too steep and Beşiktaş ended up signing Fabri on a free transfer from Deportivo La Coruna. A transfer which proved to be quite fruitful as Fabri established himself as arguably the best Beşiktaş goalkeeper since Oscar Cordoba. However, with an attractive offer on the table and just one year left on his contract, Fabri has now joined newly promoted Premier League side Fulham and Beşiktaş once again find themsleves in need of a reliable goalkeeper.

Enter the David Ospina rumours, although they are certainly not just rumours as the interest in Ospina has been confirmed and is definitely genuine. But despite Ospina pushing for a move out of the Emirates, how realistic is it really that Beşiktaş could land the Colombian this time around?

While Ospina may want out at the Emirates, he still has a contract running until June 2020, giving Arsenal a firm position at the negotiation table. Recent rumours linking Ospina to Boca Juniors suggested that the Gunners had slapped a £6m price on the 29-year old’s head. While just a rumour, it may indicate that Arsenal aren’t willing to let him go on the cheap.

Beşiktaş didn’t sell Fabri for €6m in order to bring in a more expensive goalkeeper, unless they can negotiate a favourable fee (~€3m) this will likely prove to be an insurmountable obstacle.

Another potential insurmountable obstacle are Ospina’s wages, Beşiktaş are looking to downsize their wagebill and with Fabri they just bid farewell to one of their lowest paid players in the starting lineup (Fabri earned €1,2m in guaranteed wages). According to spotrac.com David Ospina is on £40k per week, roughly €2,25m per annum. Although one must take in to account that in the UK 47% of those wages will be taxed, while in Turkey it’s just 15%. But with Beşiktaş looking to downsize the wagebill they’re unlikely looking to bring in a goalkeeper on a higher annual wage than Fabri.

A solution to both of these problems could be a loan deal with option/obligation-to-buy in which Arsenal would cover a portion of Ospina’s wages, but would this really be something Arsenal would be willing to do? Unlikely.

Should David Ospina be willing to take a paycut and if Arsenal are willing to let him go on the cheap, a move to Beşiktaş could be in the cards. But in all likelihood that won’t be the case, making David Ospina’s pending transfer to Beşiktaş a very tall order indeed.

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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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