Lions eye Fener’s ex-keeper Mert in reversal of trends

Fenerbahandceand’s second-choice goalkeeper Mert Gandunok is a free agent after the club did not renew his contract, and ultimate rival Galatasaray is among the teams lining up to express interest.
Galatasaray has been keeping an eye on Mert for a while, possibly planning to swipe the goalie from their rival. The discussions may have even contributed to Fenerbahandceand’s decision not to keep him. Bursaspor and newly promoted Ankara side Osmanlispor are also interested.
The goalkeeper is still in his prime in his mid-20s with solid training and experience. He is also one of the best Turkish keepers around right now.
Mert visited Galatasaray on Tuesday, according to news reports. He did not receive a positive response to his request to be guaranteed playing time, at least not while Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera is around. And although Galatasaray coach Hamza Hamzaoilu has said he might let Muslera go, Mert would have to also contend with Sinan Bolat.
and”I am going to keep Sinan. He played well in the final match,and” Hamzaoilu said. and”It is not easy to wait around behind Muslera, not play for a while and then have to play. He is not Muslera, but he is not a bad keeper,and” he added.
In the end Mert did not get such treatment at Fenerbahandce for being the good second stringer.
h2Change in currenth2 If it goes through, such a transfer would be a decided change. Ever since Tanju andcolak moved from the Lions to the Canaries in 1991, recent years have seen more players go from Galatasaray to Fenerbahandce than vice versa.
As in the case of high-profile movements such as Fenerbahandceand’s captain playmaker Emre BelandOzoilu and Mehmet Topal, though, the other trend is for a transfer to not be directly moved from one Turkish football giant to the other. Emre went from Galatasaray to Inter Milan and Newcastle United before returning to Istanbul for the club of his youth, Fenerbahandce. Topal had a two-year spell at Valencia before landing a job at Fenerbahandce.
Mert would not be completely alone, though. Galatasarayand’s star striker Burak Yilmaz also played for Fenerbahandce in the past. He also played with Beiiktai and Trabzonspor.
h2Raised by Canariesh2 The 26-year-old goalkeeper is a product of Fenerbahandceand’s youth system. He moved from Kocaelisporand’s youth squad to Fenerbahandceand’s in 2001. In 2009 he was promoted to the senior team as a backup keeper.
He was reportedly tearful at the news he would not be getting a new contract, but he has also not gotten as much playing time as he would like in the shadow of Fenerbahandce and Turkeyand’s veteran keeper Volkan Demirel, though he might have been content to stay around until aging Volkan moved aside.
Free agent Mert wants to make sure he will play in his new club. A move to champion Galatasaray might not help his situation, though. The Lions have just been crowned Spor Toto Super League champion, and their success is due in large part to the work of Muslera.
Unless Muslera also gets caught up in the transfer frenzy this summer and Mert proves himself against Sinan, he would be playing second keeper again. The fact remains that he is more likely to be top keeper at a smaller club than at Galatasaray.