Jose Mourinho has told Nuri Sahin he is free to seek more playing time elsewhere, seemingly opening the door for him to join Arsenal on loan as has been rumored - but Arsene Wenger is not the only one looking to add the Turkish international for this season.
AS reports that Galatasaray are making a late push to try to acquire the midfielder, and the team's general manager claims that they could finalize a loan for Sahin "at any moment."
Mourinho acknowledged the issues Sahin had at Real Madrid last year, saying that he understands the player's feelings.
The point is that he's a young boy who wants to play every match. He wants to play to be happy and in Real Madrid, with Xabi Alonso, Sami Khedira, Lassana Diarra, Esteban Granero and Mesut Ozil, the situation is not easy. Real Madrid is very difficult. It is not an easy club, because we demand a lot. We have great players and when you don't start well, it's difficult to do it.
He made it very clear, though, that he still rates Sahin highly, and should the player decide that he would prefer to stay, he would be happy to keep him.
If he stays, he's not a problem for me. He's one more solution. We are leaving the situation in his hands. Decide what you want to decide, to be happy. If you decide to leave we're going to help you to leave. If you decide to stay, we're going to support you and try to succeed this season.
This is good news for Arsenal, as Mourinho's willingness to let Sahin leave had been in a bit of doubt. On the other hand, he doesn't mention Arsenal at all, and there are reports that Turkish club Galatasaray are interested in Sahin as well and claim to be close to sealing the deal. Via AS, the team's general manager Adem Çukur says that Sahin could come to him for his desired playing time, as well as a number 10 role and an attack with Sahin as the focal point.
For some reason, even though this is supposedly coming straight from the club, I have a little bit of a hard time believing it. Sahin would likely get more time at Galatasaray than at Arsenal, but while I don't intend to insult the Turkish league, it's just not at the standard of the Premier League. And with rumors that Sahin wants a permanent purchase option in any loan deal, it just seems odd that he would go to Turkey for that. Though with the transfers top Turkish teams have made recently, the league may be closing on a return to prominence, so I could be totally off here.
Either way, AS is not perfectly reliable, so this may be a bit overstated. Until the original sources start reporting otherwise, I still think Arsenal is the most likely landing spot for Nuri Sahin, if he does end up leaving Madrid for the season.