Mesut Özil wasn’t ‘dumped’ by Adidas over public image concerns, though they are parting ways this summer, according to his agent Dr. Erkut Sogut.

ST ALBANS, ENGLAND: Mesut Özil of Arsenal during a training session at London Colney on May 22, 2020. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Reports earlier this week suggested Adidas chose not to extend their sponsorship deal with Mesut Özil this summer. Bild claimed it was a mixture of Özil’s public image issues and Adidas’ financial problems in the current pandemic.

However, Özil’s agent says that it’s inaccurate to claim Adidas doesn’t want him anymore. Instead, it’s just a case of the contract running out and Özil wanting to focus on promoting and building his own brand.

“The [original story] is giving the impression that one side doesn’t want the other side anymore,” Sogut said. “That isn’t true. Mesut wants to promote his own brand.

“He could sign another deal tomorrow. Nobody has the reach he has in the Premier League so you can imagine what attraction he has for many boots brands.”

As usual when dealing with agent quotes, the truth of the matter isn’t entirely clear. Perhaps this really was Özil’s choice from the start, maybe it’s a decision he made after it became clear Adidas would drop him, or maybe this is just an attempt to save face.

The Arsenal playmaker certainly has a huge reach on social media. His merchandise is always popular, his following is ever-growing across Twitter, Instagram and the rest, so it’s not hard to believe he thinks this is the best move for his brand.

It’s also not difficult to see why Adidas might pull out of a new deal, though. So you’ll have to make up your own mind.