Mesut Ozil appears on the verge of leaving Arsenal with Fenerbahce director Emre Belozoglu claiming the playmaker is ‘closer than ever’ to joining the Turkish giants.
Speculation around the move has been growing in recent days with both parties speaking openly about the prospect.
Ozil himself said on Twitter that he wanted to play in Turkey before he retired, and would only play for Fenerbahce if he did so. His agent, Erkut Sogut, admitted he hoped the deal would go ahead, saying Ozil wasn’t a Fenerbahce fan, but a fanatic.
Fener president Ali Koc said on Tuesday that progress was being made, and sporting director Emre now says the ‘dream’ move is getting closer.
“I look very positively on behalf of the community and the president, but I do not see it easily. We have plans of our own,” Emre told reporters.
“Mesut also has a contract with his club. He is a superstar. We are talking about a player who contributed to a goal in every other game at every club he has played for. I would be very pleased if Fenerbahce could have such a player.
“We had a meeting with him and his manager. Mesut is closer than ever. The fact that Mesut had this childhood dream and Fenerbahce had the dream has made this step so close for the first time.”
Emre did stress that if Ozil does sign, he won’t be on a contract which would disrupt the club’s existing wage structure.
He said: “After the meeting process with Mesut’s club is over, we will hold meetings between ourselves. If Mesut agrees with his club on the terms we want, it won’t stretch our financial limits this year.
“Fenerbahce and other clubs no longer have to power to bring in footballers on €4-5 million contracts. There will be no numbers that would disturb the balance or affect the salaries of other players, we do not have that ability.”
Fener are currently second in the Super Lig, level on points with leaders Besiktas and two clear of Galatasaray in third.
With Ozil’s club future up in the air, there have also been developments surrounding his international career. Fritz Keller, president of the German FA (DFB) has contacted Ozil in an attempt to reconcile with the player following his acrimonious retirement from the national team in 2018.