You have to hand it to Antalyaspor club president Gultekin Gencer: he has big ambitions for his team and he's not afraid to share them. He also seems able to realize those ambitions, at least the ones that involve bringing some of the more recognized (if ageing) stars of world soccer to play for a side that was in Turkey's second tier last season.
Antalyaspor is in the Turkish top-flight for the 2015-16 campaign and it will have a new stadium to play in. To celebrate (and meet the club's desire to fill that stadium and stick around in the Turkish Super Lig) Gencer is loudly conducting one of the more aggressive off-season player acquisition sprees of the summer.
The club recently announced it had agreed a deal in principle with Samuel Eto'o, who was duly photographed with team officials and apparel last week. The Eto'o deal had been talked about for a while, so now we are somewhat obligated to take Gencer's pronouncements seriously - and he has told Turkey's TRT Spor that there is an agreement in place with Ronaldinho:
"I think within two days, it'll be made official."
And he suggested there was another big-name to be announced in the near future.
Not that long ago, Gencer was telling a skeptical media that he intended to bring Eto'o, Ronaldinho and Ibrahim Afellay to his club. The Dutch international was just linked to a return to PSV Eindhoven, but Gencer's apparent success in reeling in his transfer targets means Afellay is the current favorite to join the increasingly star-studded squad in southern Turkey.
'Dinho meanwhile has taken to Instagram to let it be known he will be in Turkey soon. At least, that is the translation offered for his statement in this video.
If you know different, let us know in the comments.
As it stands, it would appear Antalyaspor has gazumped not one but two alleged MLS targets during this off-season.