Speaking in L’Équipe today, ex-Lille Sporting Director Luis Campos explained how the free transfer signing of Turkish international striker Burak Yilmaz came about last summer.
“In the spring of 2013, Real Madrid faced Galatasaray in the quarter-finals of the Champions’ League, I am in charge of putting together reports on the opposition. He was already putting together a great career, but it is then that I discover him. I spoke to Mourinho about him, and since that day, I have remained in love. At Monaco, when Falcao injured himself, we hesitated between Berbatov and him, but he had a huge salary, he was already a star. He came too late into a top 5 European league. I said to him: “I have liked you for a long time, I don’t understand why you haven’t come to Europe. This time, I am here to offer you a challenge with a very ambitious club, Lille. A nice town, a good coach, a promising team, good facilities… All we are missing is you, you are the missing piece, with your character, you extraordinary personality for a young squad. It will make it for us. His eyes lit up, he felt the chemistry.”