Leeds: Al-Ahli confirm Ezgjan Alioski transfer

Why did he not renew with Leeds?

There was, no doubt, a major financial consideration here. Because he is a free agent, he stands to earn a very healthy wage in Turkey but the saga has been a little strange.

Leeds were convinced that he was leaving towards the end of last season. Then he and the club’s director of football, Victor Orta, had a productive meeting and there was suddenly a feeling of confidence that Alioski would agree to stay.

As June ran out, though, it became clear that he wasn’t going to take Leeds’ offer. And Leeds weren’t prepared to increase it any further either.

What has been said?

Upon leaving Leeds, Alioski said in a video: “I want to say thank you, thank you very much to Leeds fans, they have been amazing supporters since the first day and (they) touched my heart. I will never forget these fans.

“Everywhere it’s Leeds and I will love them forever. The supporters I think are amazing and I’ve never seen supporters like Leeds United. I want to say to the people around the Leeds United family, thank you, thank you very much.”

Al-Ahli announced Alioski’s arrival on Thursday night, with the 29-year-old adding: “I’m very excited to start a new journey and will see you soon in Jeddah.”

What about Galatasaray?

The option of Galatasaray had been in the ether for a long time, as far back as the January transfer window when it first emerged that the club were interested in taking Alioski as a free agent.

The move ran aground over personal terms earlier in the summer but Alioski officially parted company with Leeds last week and his agent renewed talks.

The move did not pan out, however, while it would have been a controversial switch. You cannot mention Galatasaray in Leeds without people instantly thinking of the death of two Leeds United fans in Istanbul 21 years ago.

The impact of those killings was immense and long-lasting, and it was no surprise that Harry Kewell received huge amounts of criticism when he accepted a move to Galatasaray from Liverpool in 2008.

Where can I find out more?

For more detail on the fallout from what happened in 2000, Go Deeper below.

(Photo: Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)


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