Başakşehir's Belgium winger Nacer Chadli on way out ahead of Hearts clash as Mesut Ozil fitness struggle continues
Başakşehir are set to be without Belgian international winger Nacer Chadli for the trip to Tynecastle on Thursday.
The 33-year-old former Tottenham and West Brom forward, who has 66 caps, is set to leave the club on a free transfer, with reports suggesting he is on the brink of signing a two-year deal with newly-promoted KVC Westerlo in his homeland.
Chadli joined the Istanbul club on a free transfer from Monaco two years ago. He missed the early part of this season with an injury before starting and scoring in the 2-0 Turkish Süper Lig win over Kayserispor, but he wasn’t in the squad for Saturday’s 2-0 win over Alanyaspor.
Former Real Madrid and Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil could feature on the bench against Hearts, but the Germany international has found game time very hard to come by this season after struggling to prove his fitness.
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Ozil scored nine goals in 37 appearances for Fenerbahce after joining from Arsenal in January 2021, but fell out of favour after clashing with former manager Ismail Kartal over his fitness.
New manager Jorge Jesus supported his predecessor and refused to play the midfielder, with his contract eventually being cancelled.
The 33-year-old former Real Madrid star has barely featured since joining Başakşehir. Özil missed the start of the season due to injury and has had just 13 minutes on the pitch in two substitute appearances since then. He wasn’t in the squad at the weekend.
Manager Emre Belozoglu backed him last month, saying: “Ozil has not been working with the team for four to five months. He will have another 20-25 days ahead of him to be ready.
“We are doing our best and he is doing his best, he wants to play football. We are happy with Mesut, he has to finish well in his career.”
Başakşehir will come to Edinburgh in good form after three straight wins domestically. They are fourth in the Turkish Super Lig with eight points from four games and are unbeaten in all ten domestic and European matches they have played this season.
However, Belozoglu has been banned by UEFA from carrying out his duties as manager at Tynecastle because the former Newcastle player does not have a coaching Pro Licence.