While Ezgjan ‘Gianni’ Alioski might be moving on from Leeds, he will remain a beloved player for the club. He was a crucial part of both Premier League promotion and then their season of comfortable play in the top-flight. However, with a deal not agreed, the 29-year-old will depart on a free transfer. Fans were worried that links with Galatasaray might go somewhere, but it looks like this might not happen now due to a manner of reasons.
Fans were naturally upset that a player so beloved and seemingly so enamoured by fans had decided to move to a club with such hostile issues with Leeds fans. However, the move looks like it will not take place and instead the North Macedonian could himself going to Russia. A link with CSKA Moscow has now developed, as well as other teams in Turkey.
Fenerbahce and Trabzonspor are keen to bring the player to the Bosphorus, and see him as the perfect addition to their playing staff. The player is believed to be closest to a move to Trabzon. Indeed, various editions of Turkish print media suggest that a move is almost signed and sealed, with Alioski the latest big name player to move to the ‘other’ giant of Turkish football.
The club has been a regular thorn in the side of the Istanbul-based ‘big three’, and could be seen as title contenders for some time to come. The club itself has become a bit of a symbol of Turkish football, noted for outstanding fans and being able to compete against the typically untouchable Istanbul clubs.
Will Leeds United replace Gianni Alioski?
Almost certainly. It looks like the club has made a bid for Spanish full-back Junior Firpo. The player had excelled at Real Betis before making a move to FC Barcelona where he has spent much of his time sitting on the bench. A chance to play for Marcelo Bielsa is naturally very interesting, and it is believed that both player and club would be interested in making the deal happen.
Though his failure at Barca might concern some, it has to come in the context of the flux at the Catalan club as well as the durability of Jordi Alba. With the former Valencia full-back showing no signs at all of slowing down, Firpo was on a hiding to nothing as he tried to break into the first-team of the Catalan giants.
Now, a move to England might well take place as Leeds look to secure a deal on a player who was heavily linked with other Spanish clubs prior to his move to Barcelona. Firpo is expected to cost around £13-15m, representing great business for a player who could realistically become a regular in the Spanish national side.
Though Leeds fans will be sad to see the exit of a player in his prime in Alioski, the arrival of a top class player in Firpo might help to soften the blow somewhat.