Galatasaray are close to signing Portuguese international defender Abel Xavier from Liverpool, the Turkish club have confirmed.

“Galatasaray…have signed a preliminary protocol with Liverpool’s Abel Xavier,” the club saidon their website.

Xavier, 31, was expected in Istanbul in the next few days to put pen to paper on a deal believed to be worth about a £1 million.

Abel Xavier has been a peripheral figure for much of this season. He was ill earlier in the campaign with an undiagnosed virus and has been unable to re-establish his place in the starting eleven, since returning to full fitness.