Gael Clichy says he turned down interest from Fenerbahce and Galatasaray to sign for Istanbul Basaksehir, who he describes as a mini Manchester City.
Clichy swapped the Premier League for the Super Lig on Friday as he put pen to paper on a three-year deal with last season’s runners-up.
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The 31-year-old was released after six seasons in Manchester, where he won the league and EFL Cup on two occasions.
He says his dealings with Basaksehir convinced him it was the right project to join – rather than the more established duo of Fener and Gala – and that his new club has a similar feel to the one he has just left.
“Basaksehir gave me the impression of Manchester City,” he told a media conference.
“City is a club that’s been improving for the last eight years. I’ve told my Basaksehir team-mates that this team could become a mini-City.
“Fenerbahce was interested but there were no offers. I’ve met people from Galatasaray and Basaksehir.
“Once I’d met both sides, it was an easy decision. From Galatasaray, only one person came to see me. When I met people from Basaksehir, I saw it was a great project. It’s not always about business, money and trophies, it’s sometimes about the human side.”