Mesut Ozil had arrived in Real Madrid after some break out performances for Werder Bremen in the 2009-10 season scoring nine goals and providing 17 assists and following it up with the German international team in the 2010 FIFA World Cup where he was nominated as one of the contenders for the Golden Ball.
Madrid had paid Bremen a ‘mere’ €15 million for Ozil but the German international proved an instant hit with the Bernabeu faithful mesmerizing the fans with his finesse and improvisation as an attacking midfielder.
Ozil finished his first season at Madrid with 25 assists, the highest for any player in any major European competition that season and his second season saw him chalk up 17 assists in La Liga, earning him a nomination for the UEFA Best Player in Europe award. During that season, he had revealed to German magazine Kicker in an interview that he wished to end his playing career at the Santiago Bernabeu.
“I’d like to end my career at Real Madrid. I know it will be difficult because I have many more years ahead of me and many younger and good players will also be out there, but I want to be part of that future. I know what I’m capable of and I’m convinced I’ll stay at Real Madrid for many years.”
Ozil’s knack for creating innumerable scoring chances for his fellow teammates has seen him being compared on many occasions with Madrid legend Zinedine Zidane, with colleagues and coaches equivalent in their praises for the German ‘Messi’.
Xabi Alonso describes Ozil as “the kind of player you don’t find these days,” whereas former coach Jose Mourinho believes “Ozil is unique. There is no copy of him - not even a bad copy.”
According to former Holland great, Ruud Gullit, Ozil is a “technically perfect” player who has “great imagination” and “total control of the ball”.
With such glowing praises and stellar performances, one would expect the player to be one of Madrid’s irreplaceable players for whom the club would not be willing to listen to any offers.
However, Ozil has been linked with a move to last season’s Premier League champions Manchester United with reports in Spain and England suggesting Madrid would consider a bid if it was of the right amount.
Hence the obvious question that arises here is what might be the cause behind the Madrid hierarchy’s apparent willingness to let go of one of their most instrumental players?
To adequately understand the matter, let us first look into where the rumours started from in the first place. The story took off from a Spanish TV program called Punto Pelota in a segment featuring presenters Francois Gallardo and Pipi Estrada.
Now what is special regarding these two journalists is the fact that both of them have gained their fame thanks to their reporting of absolute fantasies regarding fans’ wildest dreams and are known in Spain to be rumour feeders who are sometimes used by agents to links their players with other clubs so that the present club agrees to their latest demands.
Gallardo is known to Chelsea fans as the alleged FIFA agent who had mastermined the moves of Didier Drogba and John Terry to Barcelona and Valencia, respectively, last year. On Terry’s supposed move to Valencia, Gallardo had this to say:
"Valencia are negotiating, and I am involved in person. The offer is on his table. The player is out of contract in June and will not renew there for several reasons at Chelsea and he wants to come to Spain.
"He asked to leave. It's real. This has been going on for 15 days and two meetings have already took place. I think he will accept."
Back in November 2011, Gallardo had claimed that Pep Guardiola had signed a pre-agreement with Manchester City and was taking Victor Valdes with him to the Etihad. In March this year, he claimed to be representing Terry again linking him with a move to Turkey this time.
Further more, Gallardo had claimed in June itself that Gareth Bale’s move to Real Madrid was a done deal.
“Real Madrid has signed Bale for 90 million euros. The signing is closed from this week but Real Madrid wait to make it official to have a new coach announced. I have information and I assure you that Gareth Bale is already player of Real Madrid”.
What can be adequately gleaned from these statements is that nothing that comes out of the Spanish program can be taken seriously and thus their reporting of Ozil’s Manchester United links could easily be dismissed as mere fantasizing by the presenters without any actual material backing up their claim.
However, about a week after Punto Pelota’s first reports linking the German star with United, Spanish paper El Confidencial, who have excellent links with Madrid, have come out saying that the capital club are fed up with players’ agents linking their clients with other clubs in order to get the renewal they are seeking.
The paper claims Madrid believe Ozil is trying to force the club into agreeing a new contract worth €7 million-per-year which his agent had put forward back in April. But the La Liga giants are reluctant as Ozil’s current deal with the club is till the summer of 2016 and Madrid can easily wait another year before entering into any negotiations with the payer.
It also says Ozil is unhappy at the club as even after being an integral part of the team for three seasons, he is earning only €5 million whereas Kaka despite being on the benches for most part of the last few years takes home almost double his salary.
The German is also believed to not be too pleased with his role in the team under new coach Carlo Ancelotti where he has seen his free role behind the striker being handed over to new boy Isco while himself getting sidelined to the flanks where he cannot dictate the tempo of the match as much as he is used to.
Madrid are not offering the player around and they have not received any bids either, but the player’s agent is feeding false rumours to the media to force the club’s hands into agreeing the new deal put forward from the player’s side on their table.
This has led to some fractions in the relationship of the German with the club and according to El Confidencial, Madrid are so angry with Ozil’s under-hand tactics that they are seriously thinking about considering a bid for the player if the right amount is placed infront of them.
As such, what started as mere fantasizing by two Spanish reporters just might end up in David Moyes landing his first marquee signing of the summer, if he does decide to come up with the £40 million bid he is rumoured to be preparing for Ozil, and appease United fans’ hunger for the arrival of a stellar name post the Sir Alex Ferguson era.