Mesut Ozil has revealed in his recent book, Gunning for Greatness, that there were five clubs interested in signing him after the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

  • Ozil impressed at 2010 World Cup in South Africa
  • Arsenal, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Manchester United and Barcelona all interested
  • Signed for Real because Spanish teams were bigger

At the age of just 20, Ozil featured in every one of Germany’s World Cup 2010 matches, providing three assists and one goal during the tournament and being nominated for the Golden Ball.

The Werder Bremen playmaker’s international display caught the attention of Real Madrid, who he then signed for, but there were four other clubs seriously interested in signing the assist-machine, which he turned down, including Arsenal.

“At the time there were five potential clubs in the mix,” the 28-year-old explained.

“Arsenal had shown their interest, as had Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Real Madrid.

“My agent, Reza, met Bayern Munich.

“The bosses told him what their plans were for me, how they wanted to use me.

“He had the same conversations with the other clubs.

“Viewed from a global perspective, the two Spanish clubs were bigger, brighter, bette.

“So for me these were the only two possibilities.”

Ultimately, Ozil wanted to work underneath Jose Mourinho in La Liga.

It’s interesting that the Portuguese manager is now in charge of United, a team the German previously turned down.

Ozil spent three years at Real Madrid, scoring 27 and assisting 81, before signing for Arsenal in 2013.