Boro rule out Tuncay sale
No summer move for Turkish superstar
By Graeme Bailey. Last Updated: April 1, 2008 1:16pm
Tuncay: Happy at Boro
Gareth Southgate has issued a hands off warning to Fenerbahce and Galatasaray after they were linked with a bid for Turkish star Tuncay Sanli.
Reports over the weekend suggested that the two Istanbul giants were readying £5million offers to try and take Tuncay back to Turkey.
However, the Middlesbrough boss says there is no way Tuncay - who arrived at The Riverside last summer on a free transfer - will be leaving this summer.
"He's a good player and he'll always be linked with moves and I'm sure lots of the Turkish clubs would want to take him but I'm very happy with what he's done, I enjoy working with him and I don't expect that to be an issue," said Southgate.
"I think Tuncay's enjoying his football with us, I think he's improved as the season has gone on.
"He's enjoying life here, as well, he's a very happy lad who enjoys his work and I think he's been an asset for us this season and one we would certainly not want to lose."
After struggling to adapt to life in England at first, Tuncay now insists he is more than happy with life on Teesside.
"Football in Turkey and here are very different and it takes time to settle. The first two months were very hard but I was never worried. I always knew it would take time," he said.
"The big difference is that in Turkey, one week you have a very hard game and the next can be very easy but that does not happen in England.
"Before I left Turkey, I always watched English football and enjoyed it but I didn't realise just how different it was to play in. It is stronger and faster than I realised from just watching it.
"It's terrific playing over here with Middlesbrough, I'm really enjoying it."
Tuncay was speaking ahead of Fenerbahce's UEFA Champions League clash with Chelsea and he is hoping his former club can win on Wednesday.
"Wednesday will be a massive occasion. There will be a very, very big atmosphere in Fenerbahce and Chelsea will have to be ready," he said.
"Galatasaray have won big things in Europe before, but never Fenerbahce. It would be huge in Turkey if they could get past Chelsea.
"Chelsea are going to have to be careful, I know everyone expects Chelsea to just ease through but it's not going to be as easy as people think. Fenerbahce are a very good team with some very good players.
"Alex, Mateja Kezman, Stephen Appiah, although he is injured, Roberto Carlos, Deivid, I could name more.
"I'm sure Fenerbahce will win the first leg then it will be all about what happens in the return in London. I still have many friends at the club and if they ask me any questions about Chelsea I will tell them."