Galatasaray president Mustafa Cengiz has revealed that the club are keen on tying up a permanent agreement with Inter Milan to sign Japanese defender Yuto Nagatomo. The 31-year-old joined the Turkish giants on a short-term loan in January and he has since made 14 appearances for the club across all competitions.
Speaking to reporters, Cengiz confirmed that Gala have the ideal of prolonging Nagatomo’s stay but they have yet to make a formal approach to the Nerazzurri, he said: “He is very happy here. He is a really great person. When he came to us, he did not give any consideration to the idea of returning to Italy. With regard to signing him permanently, we have not yet met with Inter to discuss this. We are waiting for each other’s next move. The plan is to come to a mutually satisfactory agreement.”
As things stand, Nagatomo is primed for a return to Inter in the summer but his chances of staying put appear slim after his minimal gametime during the first half of the season. The Japanese full-back was restricted to just 11 starts under Luciano Spalletti and his move to Galatasaray was fast-forwarded by the need to maintain match fitness ahead of the World Cup.
Meanwhile, Galatasaray are seemingly on the cusp of the Super Lig title after creating a three-point gap between themselves and the trailing pack. The re-appointment of manager Fatih Terim has done a lot of wonders to the team morale and they need a maximum of four points from the upcoming two fixtures in order to seal the league title for the first time since 2015.
The triumph would also end Besiktas’ dominance in the Super Lig after having clinched the title in each of the previous two seasons. The Black Eagles have stayed aloft in the title race for most of the campaign but they need Gala to drop points in order to have any opportunity of claiming a third straight league silverware.