Natkho in talks with Galatasaray

By Simon Griver, January 24, 2014
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Galatasaray are set for further negotiations with the representatives of Bibras Natkho who this week said he was flattered by interest from Roberto Mancini.

The Rubin Kazan star is out of contract with the Russian team and has so far turned down offers to stay at the club.

Defensive midfielder Natkho has been tipped to become Israel’s captain for the Euro 2016 qualifiers and confirmed that he had been contacted by Galatasaray boss Roberto Mancini who led Manchester City to the Premier Division title two years ago.

Natkho indicated he would be keen to join the Turkish champions who have reached the knock-out stage of the Champions League.

"You don’t say no to a manager like Mancini, but everything is at the negotiation stage now and nothing is signed," said Natkho.

"I believe that they’ll be developments with one of the teams that has made an offer for me in the coming week."

Natkho, 25, has also been linked with moves to Real Betis and Stuttgart, while the Italian media claims that Milan are interested in the Israeli.

He said: "We’ve had interest from Roma and Fiorentina, but there are no official talks planned yet."

Natkho joined Kazan three years ago from Hapoel Tel Aviv, where he played under Eli Guttman who has since become Israel’s manager. With Israel’s captain Yossi Benayoun struggling to make an impact at QPR, Guttman is reportedly considering replacing him with Natkho. This would make Natkho — a member of Israel’s small Circassian community — the first-ever Muslim captain of the Israel national team for a qualifying campaign.

* Ben Sahar, 24, has been loaned by Hertha Berlin to second division German team Arminia Bielefeld until the end of the season. The former Chelsea striker has scored eight goals in 31 appearances for Israel.

    Last updated: 11:02am, January 24 2014