By Craig Scott

15th Jul, 2021 | 3:07pm

Phil Hay speaks out ex-Leeds United ace Gjanni Alioski closes in on Galatasaray

The Athletic’s Phil Hay admits Ezgjan Alioski looks likely to join Galatasaray this summer after his contract at Leeds United expired.

On Thursday, Turkish news outlet Sabah reported that Galatasaray have reached an agreement to sign the 29-year-old left-back on a free transfer.

Ex-Yorkshire Evening Post journalist Hay was asked by a Leeds fan whether the news was true.

He replied on Twitter to say: “His people aren’t saying anything but everything in Turkey suggests that it’s going to go ahead now.”

Reputation ruined?

It’s not been confirmed yet and we all know that the Turkish media can be a bit all over the place with their reporting, so we’re only going to talk about this in ifs, buts and maybes.

If Alioski joins Galatasaray, he will upset a lot of Leeds fans.

Even the reports from Turkey this week have caused a lot of anger on social media with a lot of fans taking to Twitter to unfortunately abuse the North Macedonia international.

He doesn’t deserve that.

We understand why people would be angry about him joining Galatasaray after what happened in 2000 when Kevin Speight and Christopher Loftus were stabbed to death by supporters of that club.

Alioski will surely know about that and the Galatasaray talk isn’t new – it came up months ago, and that led to an angry reaction back then too.

We hope he does not join them – but please refrain from abusing him on social media.

At the end of the day, it’s a job for him and his way of living. He’ll be closer to his homeland of North Macedonia and is likely to get European football, a chance of winning silverware and a regular starting spot.

He wouldn’t have got all of that here in Leeds.

In other Leeds United news, the Whites are said to be looking at this Bundesliga star.