Real Madrid midfielder Mesut Ozil has played down speculation linking him with a move to Manchester United.

The 23-year-old German international has received criticism for his recent under-par performances at the Santiago Bernabeu, leading to rumours of a falling out with Jose Mourinho.

Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson is a long-term admirer of Ozil, and tried to bring him to Old Trafford when he first moved to Spain from Werder Bremen in 2010.

But, following the summer signing of Shinji Kagawa from Borussia Dortmund, and the fact that Wayne Rooney has dropped into a deeper midfield role to accommodate Manchester United's array of strikers, it's fair to say that the club's demand for another attacking midfielder is not so great.

Still, a player of Ozil's quality is always going to attract interest, particularly when there is speculation of unrest at his current club.

After being handed his first start of the season in Sunday's 2-2 El Clasico draw with Barcelona, the playmaker impressed at the Camp Nou, before heading off to link up with Joachim Loew's national team, where he was interviewed by German newspaper Bild, and asked about his situation and links with other clubs.

Ozil insisted he has nothing to prove in Madrid and criticised the media in Spain for being too harsh on him. When asked about rumours linking him with Manchester United, he said:

"Of this I know nothing. Those who play at Real cannot even think about other things. There is no reason for me to leave Real."

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