Istanbul - Netherlands international Nigel de Jong has
signed a two year deal with Istanbul giants Galatasaray, saying he wanted to
return to Europe after just half a year with MLS outfit LA Galaxy.
The famously hard-tackling defensive midfielder will receive
a guaranteed salary of 2.5 million euros ($2.8 million) for each of the seasons
along with bonuses after arriving on a free transfer, the club said in a
"I stayed six months in Los Angeles. I wanted to return
to Europe again. I love football and I am a football guy. Galatasaray gave me
the chance to return to a European atmosphere," de Jong told Galatasaray's
in house TV channel.
The move will unite de Jong with his Netherlands teammate
and Galatasaray stalwart since 2013, the striker Wesley Sneijder.
"I am very happy to be playing in the same team as him.
He is a great fighter and someone who loves to win," said de Jong, adding
he had called Sneijder ahead of the move.
Also read: Milan confirm De Jong exit, MLS deal looms
De Jong's combative style -- as seen in his notorious chest
high studs-out challenge on Spain's Xabi Alonso in the 2010 World Cup final --
did not always go down well in the MLS and may find a better home in the
rough-and-tumble of the Turkish Super Lig.
His presence should reinforce the back line of Galatasaray
who could manage only sixth in the Super Lig last season.
In other deals in Turkey announced before the end of the
transfer window, Senegal's international striker Moussa Sow joined
Galatasaray's arch Istanbul rivals and 2015-2016 Super Lig runners-up
Fenerbahce on a one year loan deal from Egypt's Al-Ahly.
Sow played for Fenerbahce from 2012-2015 in a successful
stint. "Welcome back to your home," said the club.
Meanwhile, league champions Besiktas of Istanbul said they
had acquired Turkish centre back Atinc Nukan on a one year loan from RB Leipzig
Nukan had grown up with Besiktas in its youth system and
then played five seasons in its senior team.
Outside of Istanbul, Dutch international midfielder Adam
Maher joined Osmanlispor of Ankara on a one year loan deal.
But the biggest rumoured deal for a Turkish side failed to
come to fruition, with France's Samir Nasri opting to join Sevilla on a one
year loan from Manchester City and not Besiktas as had been speculated.
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