Tottenham Hotspur are interested in signing Feyenoord midfielder Orkun Kokcu this summer, sources have told 90min.
90min revealed on Monday that Feyenoord boss Arne Slot has informed the club he would like to take the head coach job at Spurs, and negotiations over a compensation figure could be thrashed out this week.
Feyenoord director Dennis te Kloese has also revealed that he himself has received an offer from Tottenham, but has turned it down.
Slot has worked wonders in his two seasons at De Kuip, leading Feyenoord to the Europa Conference League final last year before winning a first Eredivisie title since 2017 this term.
He could be followed from Rotterdam to north London could be club captain Kokcu. 90min understands that Spurs were interested in the Turkey international even before talks for Slot accelerated.
Still only 22, Kokcu has scored 12 goals and provided five assists in 45 games for Feyenoord this season, while he has been linked to Arsenal and Brighton in recent months.
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Kokcu made headlines in October 2022 when he refused to wear a rainbow captain’s armband in support of the LGBTQ+ community, citing religious reasons for the snub.
“I have decided not to wear the rainbow captain’s armband this round,” he said at the time.
“I think it’s important to emphasise that I respect everyone regardless of religion, background or preference. I believe that everyone is free to do what they want or feel. I fully understand the importance of this action, but because of my religious beliefs, I don’t feel the right person to support this.
“That’s why I don’t feel comfortable wearing this captain’s armband. I can imagine some people are disappointed with this. That is absolutely not my intention, although I realise that I may not immediately be able to take away that feeling with these words. But I hope that my choice for religious reasons will also be respected.”
There has been similar uproar in France recently when players from Toulouse, Nantes and Guingamp refused to play on International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, with clubs adorning shirts with rainbow numbering for the occasion.
Marseille’s Valentin Rongier hit back at these players for missing the point of such initiatives.
“It’s a very complicated situation. I don’t know what’s happening in these players’ heads, the education they’ve had, what’s been put into their heads,” Rongier said.
“That all needs to be taken into account. But I also think it’s a communication issue. The players need to be told that wearing this shirt isn’t like parading at Gay Pride. It’s just to say that we need to combat homophobia because there are injustices, people who are attacked or killed because they are homosexual, and that in 2023 that kind of situation should no longer happen. It’s impossible. We should focus on that – fighting injustice.
“But it’s difficult to talk about without stirring up controversy. I wouldn’t be able to give my opinion on it. But in our dressing room, there was no discussion. We know that there is a matchday dedicated to the LGBT community. To agree with it or not is one thing, but we’re not asking the players to go parade in the streets in support of it. It’s just a shirt.”
On this week’s edition of Talking Transfers, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott Saunders is joined by Toby Cudworth and Graeme Bailey to discuss all the latest transfer news. On the agenda: Declan Rice, Mason Mount, Granit Xhaka, Martin Odegaard, Ivan Toney, Ruben Loftus-Cheek & more!
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