Socceroos captain Lucas Neill has joined Turkish giants Galatasaray, according to a statement on the Istanbul club’s official website.It had recently been reported that Galatasaray had tabled a bid of £800,000 to English Premier League club Everton for Neill’s services, only a few months after he joined the Merseyside club on a free transfer.
Galatasaray PR Office announced that the Australian defender has put pen to paper on a one-and-a-half year contract with the Istanbul Lions.
Lucas Neill will be able to play in UEFA Europa League for Galatasaray as he hasn’t played for Everton in the competition so far.
Neill has been in Galatasaray’s radar for quite a while but extraordinary performances of winger Sabri Sarioglu who filled the right-back position in recent years have put the transfer on hold.
Lucas Neill is reportedly very happy to play in Turkey where Australian players are favored as Turkish fans find them more sympathetic than other foreign players. The growing number of Australian tourists visiting Gallipoli also helped raise Australians profile in the country. Kewell last year had joined official Anzac ceremonies with Australian and Turkish governments.
Neill will be joining fellow Socceroos Harry Kewell (Galatasaray), Bruce Djite (Genclerbirligi), Mile Jedinak (Antalyaspor), James Troisi(Kayserispor) and Michael Petkovic (Sivasspor), who are playing in Turkish Superlig.
Neill is the 3rd Australian player in Galatasaray’s history following Ufuk Talay and Harry Kewell.