Nuri Sahin - 'For me Arsene Wegner is one of the best trainers in the world'
Arsenal are close to completing a one-year loan deal for Real Madrid midfielder Nuri Şahin.
The Turkish international first caught the eye of Arsene Wenger in the 2005 U-17 World Cup in Peru. Wenger described the young midfielder, saying, "Şahin is one of the greatest U-18 talents in world football."
Şahin went on to win the Bronze Ball and Silver Shoe awards for his impressive performances in the Turkish national team shirt and lifted the UEFA European U-17 Championships the same season.
Wenger's fondness of Şahin is no secret but what isn't so well known is the young midfielder's admiration of the Arsenal boss.
In an interview conducted by state-funded German television channel Deutsche-Welle in 2010 Şahin was asked about his opinion on Wenger calling him one of the greatest U-18 talents in football.
Şahin replied by saying, "For me it was beautiful, Arsene Wegner is one of the best trainers in the world.
"At that time I was one of the most talented youngster's in Europe, if he said that it makes me happy.
"I want to ask him, 'Is it true what you were reported to have said and that you wanted me?' and maybe we can work together."
Wenger has made reinforcing the holding midfield position one of his transfer priorities this summer, following the injury of Jack Wilshere and the sale of Alex Song to Barcelona for £15 million.
Şahin is well suited to the Arsenal system and is noted for his passing range, vision and creativity.
The Turkish international midfielder was left out of Real's weekend draw against Valencia and is expected to join Arsenal this week.
Liverpool are also reported to be closely linked with the young playmaker.