Altay Bayindir is fulfilling Mustafa Kaplan’s prophecy as the Fenerbahce goalkeeper closes in on a move to Premier League giants Manchester United.
Kaplan, who worked with the Turkey international at Ankaragucu, could be forgiven for feeling a little smug as his former captain undergoes medical tests at Carrington ahead of his £4.3 million Manchester United switch.
Altay Bayindir, according to his former coach, was always destined for the very top level. And while opportunities may be few and far between at Old Trafford – Andre Onana is Erik ten Hag’s nailed-on number one – Man United’s interest is confirmation of what Kaplan realised a long time ago.
That Bayindir is a goalkeeper with the potential, the ability and the mindset to stand between the sticks at one of Europe’s powerhouse clubs.
Manchester United close in on Altay Bayindir deal
“I gave him the first captaincy in Ankaragucu. He took an important step in his career by transferring to Fenerbahce,” Kaplan recalls, speaking to Calendar.
“A quality goalkeeper. When I talked to him, he said that he wanted to make money for the club if he left Fenerbahce. He’s done that. He takes another important step.
“When I said ‘Altay will go to a very big team in Europe’, there were people laughing at me! But it has turned out exactly as I said.”
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“I think if he takes the chance he gets, he’ll rock. Altay is an ambitious goalkeeper with big goals. He is opening a new chapter in his career. I think he will be successful in England and make a name for himself.
“I wish him success.”
Dean Henderson replacement
Bayindir’s arrival should bring an end to Ten Hag’s pursuit of a new back-up goalkeeper, with Dean Henderson finally on his way out the door. Crystal Palace will sign Henderson for £15 million, rising to £20 million with bonuses.
And former United midfielder Fred, who spent only a few weeks with Bayindir in Istanbul, is backing his short-lived team mate to prove his worth in his new home.
“I wished him good luck when he left,” Fred tells Sporx. “He is going to a great team. I made some suggestions for a neighbourhood where he could live. I said that it rained a lot!
“Altay will be very happy at Manchester United.”