Istanbul Basaksehir held a goodbye press conference for Cenzig Ünder on Friday, as the young Turkish forward prepares to complete his €15m move to Roma. Club president Göksel Gümüşdağ revealed that they were also entitled to 20% of any future fee.
Ünder said that he is looking forward to challenging Stephan El Shaarawy and Diego Perotti for a place in the first team, after the president revealed that Roma’s promise of guaranteeing Ünder a place in the squad tipped the scales in their favour over Manchester City.
“We bought Cengiz Ünder from Altinordu for €600,000. Başakşehir’s record transfer fee is now for a Turkish player. We are selling Cengiz for €15m. We will also receive 20% on a future transfer fee,” the president said.
“I believe Cengiz will sign for important clubs in the future. [Başakşehir coach] Abdullah Avci followed Cengiz for 1 year before signing him. Abdullah Avci is the person Cengiz should thank the most.
“We did have talks with Manchester City, but if City bought him then they would have loaned him to a German club. He went to Roma because Roma said they would keep him and play him.”
“Thank you very much to everyone at the club,” Ünder said afterwards. “First of all, I thank Abdullah Avci and Fatih Terim. I came here a year ago and now, 1 year on, I’m going to Roma. I’d also like to thank Mr Seyit Mehmet Özkan, the president of Altiordu. It was their hard work that brought me here.
“I know the support that Monchi, Roma’s sporting director, gives to young players. Roma play a very attacking style of football. City would have bought me and loaned me out, so it was easy for me to make this decision because I wanted to play for Roma. El Shaarawy and Perotti are playing for them at the moment, and I’ll challenge them for their places.
“It all happened so quickly, but I always have confidence in myself. I will take my form there and represent the country in the best possible way. I will work hard there in the same way as I worked hard here.”