Arsenal are among the clubs tracking Stuttgart midfielder Berkay Ozcan, according to the player's agent. The 19-year-old has enjoyed a fine breakthrough campaign with the 2. Bundesliga side, making 19 appearance during his maiden season in the first team.
Ozcan, capped at youth level by both Germany and Turkey, moved to Stuttgart in 2013 but had to wait three years for his senior debut, which came at the start of the 2016-17 season. Regular outings have following in the second tier of German football, with goals coming against 1860 Munich and Kaiserslautern.
Such a burst of form has not gone unnoticed, with a string of clubs tracking his progress this season, one Die Roten hope ends in promotion back to the top flight at the first time of asking. "Many top clubs are interested in Berkay," representative Baris Yukselsen told Football.London. "Arsenal has Berkay on its list, but at the moment he is focusing on Stuttgart's resurgence."
Speaking at an event this week at the Arsenal Soccer School in Istanbul, scout Jurgen Kost revealed the club were tracking a Germany-based Turkish player, admitting the club were interested in signing him. "I have been scouting a Turkish kid in Germany," he told Turkish-Football.com. "I watched him 2-3 weeks ago, he plays in central midfield. I won't give his name yet but he is very talented and we are considering signing him."
Only one player from Turkey has represented Arsenal in their history, with Oguzhan Ozyakup making two appearances for the club in the EFL Cup. Playmaker Mesut Ozil could have represented Turkey at international level but instead chose to play for Germany, with whom he won the World Cup in 2014.
Whether Ozcan would go straight into the Arsenal first team or asked to gain more experience with the youth sides is unclear. Nevertheless, he would look to become the latest player to come through the academy setup at the club's London Colney training base, which needs a new manager after the exit of Andries Jonker.
Jonker departed after three years at the helm of the Arsenal academy to manage Wolfsburg, with Arsene Wenger confirming the search for a replacement is underway. "We have many candidates and we have a lot of time now to choose the best one," Wenger said. "That's a process we have started and ideally you want people with the Arsenal spirit. We have special values here. If it could be a person who reflects our values, then of course that would be even better."