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Rumors: Mario Gomez close to returning to Besiktas

The Turkish press think the deal is almost done.

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Resurgent German striker Mario Gomez would appear to have a lot of options at the moment. He followed a top-scoring, title-winning stint for Besiktas in Turkey's top flight last season with a return to his national team and major role in Germany's run to the semi-finals of Euro 2016. Injury deprived him of any say in the 2-0 defeat that sent France to the final, but he has surely done enough over the last 12 months to deflect any concerns about the subdued scoring rate he endured in two injury-afflicted seasons with Fiorentina.

The rumor mill certainly thinks so. Gomez is too big a name for the rumor-mongers to ignore, and his departure from Fiorentina has long been anticipated. He still has a year left on his contract, so it is assumed La Viola hopes to recoup something of the money it invested to snag Gomez in the first place.

In recent weeks, Gomez has been linked to several clubs, including West Ham, Milan, Wolfsburg, and an unnamed MLS team said to have offered the striker a two-year deal at around $9 million per year.

Univision's FutbolMLS followed up on the rumor of a North American offer a few days ago, reporting that there had indeed been discussion between the league and the player about a deal that would make Gomez "among the three best paid footballers" in MLS. FutbolMLS's David Ruiz even followed Once A Metro's lead, speculating that the New York Red Bulls might the club question, given the history between Red Global Soccer chief Oliver Mintzlaff and Gomez (RB Soccer's top man used to be Mario's agent).

Lost in all the speculation, for the most part, was the club that contributed most to the restoration of Gomez's reputation: Besiktas.

Now numerous reports out of Turkey suggest not only that Gomez is willing to stick with the team that helped him put his struggles in Italy behind him, but also that the deal is almost done.

The reports seem to be at odds over the particulars - Eurosport suggests a fee in the region of $4.5 million; other reports suggest in excess of $8 million - but all agree on the idea that Gomez will sign a three-year contract. The player turned 31 on July 10, so three more years in Turkey should see him through to somewhere close to the end of his career.