Turkish international Hakan Calhanoglu has laid out his intentions to leave Hamburg in order to realise his dreams:
"I want to go as far as Ronaldo and Messi. I want to be a world star," Calhanoglu told Sport Bild.
That means leaving Hamburg and the news comes as a blow to the German side who only secured their Bundesliga status on Sunday following an away goals victory over Bundesliga 2 side Greuther Fueth, maintaining the club's outstanding record of having played in Germany’s top flight since World War One.
Survival is not enough for the ambitious Calhanoglu however, who has outlined his intention to leave the club despite their reprive:
"I told them that I want to go - no matter whether we play in the first or second division, I would definitely leave Hamburg, " the 20-year-old added.
Calhanoglu has risen to prominence with 11 Bundesliga goals in 32 outings as well as four assists in his first season at the Imtech Arena and has caught the eye of clubs across Europe with Bundesliga rivals Bayer Leverkusen believed to be leading the chart for the attacking midfielder:
“I can see myself clearly at Bayer Leverkusen. The fact is, I want to play in Europe and I want to make my parents happy.”
Despite the sacking of Sami Hyypia, Leverkusen secured fourth spot in the Bundesliga and therefore qualification for next season's Champions League and sporting director Rudi Voller welcomed the prospect of seeing Calhanoglu at the Bayer Arena next season:
"It's no secret. We would love to have him...but there are other interested parties," Voller told Bild.
"It is clear that Hamburg decides - and we (will) accept any decision.”
"We are not Bayern or Dortmund but young players like Levin Oztunali and Julian Brandt or now, Josip Drmic and Hakan Calhanoglu, see that they can play with us. We have earned this reputation."
Leverkusen have already been busy in the transfer market with the captures of Swiss striker Josip Drmic and Brazilian full-back Wendell and Voller insists they are in good shape even if they don’t add Calhanoglu to the squad:
"With Wendell and Josip Drmic we have already made two top transfers," Voller added.
"Especially with Drmic it was important to be in there early because we are convinced that he will have a strong World Cup for Switzerland."
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