Before the start of the new season, Mesut Ozil seemed set on staying at Arsenal. Now, however, he’s reportedly told the club he’s joining Manchester United. So what changed?
Right up until pre-season, it seemed as if Ozil was going to stay at Arsenal.
Unlike Alexis Sanchez, there had been very few rumours linking the playmaker with a move away from the club. What’s more, the 29-year-old himself hailed London and spoke at length about his love for the city.
There were rumours that the Germany international had renewed his executive box at the Emirates and murmurings in the media about the ex-Real Madrid man finally putting pen to paper more than once.
He even claimed during pre-season that his preference was to stay at Arsenal. Talks, he said, were ongoing. However, since then, contract talks seem to have stalled, and while his agent insists that he feels positive about the negotiations, the media says otherwise.
I rarely trust the press for obvious reasons, but you have to question why the talks are taking so long if they were going so well?
Not that I believe Ozil’s actually asking for £350k-per-week – or that Arsenal are offering £275k-per-week – but still. Inter Milan are said to be interested, although certain comments from the Serie A club’s president were lost in translation. Former La Liga rivals Barcelona have also been linked too.
Fenerbahce are reportedly very keen and Manchester United were favourites to land the midfielder. Now he’s rumoured to have told Arsenal he’s renewing acquaintances with Jose Mourinho.
So, what’s changed? Assuming that Ozil really does want to leave and he’s not using other clubs to get a better deal at Arsenal, which is possible, why does he want to go?
Unlike some players who want to jump ship, Ozil likes Wenger. In fact, he’s even said that the French coach was the reason he came to north London in the first place. Plus, when he insisted he wanted to stay, the boss had already extended his contract, so that probably rules him hating Wenger out.
Alexis was always going to leave. There was always a strong feeling he would, at least, which suggests that Ozil’s future isn’t connected to the Chilean’s. Alexis had already been linked with Manchester City, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain before Ozil reiterated that he wanted to stay.
The British media have been a thorn in Ozil’s side since he signed from Real Madrid. He’s either not scoring enough, not assisting enough or his body language makes him look ‘lazy’. However, as I said, the press have been there since he joined Arsenal in 2013. They’re not new.
My best guess, rather than wandering onto the topic of him wanting more money, is that he’s lost faith in the team. Arsenal kicked off the season with a chaotic 4-3 win over Leicester and went on to lose to Stoke and Liverpool.
Although we managed to string some wins together, we’re still not playing particularly well and Ozil does find it hard to get involved. Maybe he wants to move to a team where he feels he can win more than just FA Cups.
His relationship may have soured with Arsene Wenger, we’ll never know until his eventual exit. It’s a frustrating situation and I wish it would get resolved one way or another.