Mesut Ozil has confirmed his move from Arsenal to Fenerbahce earlier yesterday, saying he was “very excited” to play for the former Turkish champions and is looking ahead to get back on the field after missing nearly a year of football.
The Gunners midfielder will join the Turkish giants on a free transfer after agreeing to cancel his contract in north London, bringing to an end his seven-and-a-half-year stay in north London.
Arsenal have given him permission to travel to Istanbul where he will now undergo a medical before finalising his switch to Fenerbahce; the club he grew up supporting as a boy.
Fenerbahce publicly declared they were in negotiations with the former Germany international on Sunday and confirmed the player’s arrival late on Sunday night on social media.
Fenerbahce posted images of Ozil by stating: “Our club is bringing Mesut Ozil to Istanbul to continue the transfer processes.”
Speaking to Turkish broadcaster NTV on Sunday, “I am a Fenerbahce fan. That is why I am very happy to be coming to Turkey with Fenerbahce,” Ozil said.
“I’m very excited. God gave me the chance to wear this jersey as a Fenerbahce fan. God willing, I will carry it with honour and do everything I can for the team.
“There is a process at the moment. We can’t say it’s over until we’ve signed it in the process. I hope it happens.”
“Tonight I will come to Istanbul with my family. The flight time is not clear. I’ll be there tonight.”
“Of course, I’m missing a few matches. I haven’t played in a match in a while, but I am physically fit, I have no issues,” he said, adding he had been training with the first team at Arsenal during his time off the pitch.
Ozil is poised to give up £7m in earnings as he cancels his contract six months early. The 32-year-old earned north of £300,000-a-week at the Emirates having signed an extension in 2018.
At Fenerbahce though he is set to earn £3.5m-a-year, which is just over £65,000-a-week. Ozil will get a hefty bonus for simply joining the Super Lig outfit however with a £4.5m fee being paid, that will be spread across three years.
Several other bonuses could be heading the German’s way should Fenerbahce reap the rewards of his arrival. Ozil will pocket £445,000 if he can inspire the Turkish side to the title; which would be their first in seven years.
In Turkey the top two qualify for the Champions League and according to Sporx, that would allow the former Real Madrid man to pocket a further £225,000.
Speaking earlier in the month, Ozil’s agent Erkut Sogut said: “Everyone knows that Mesut is from Fenerbahce. Mesut is not just a football player, Mesut is Fenerbahce.
“He always said that if he came to Turkey, he would only play for Fenerbahce. I think it is very important that Mesut comes not only as a footballer but also as a lover of Fenerbahce.
The paperwork is expected to be completed in the coming days before Ozil signs a three-and-a-half-year deal.
Sky Sports’ Nick Wright earlier mentioned how Mesut Ozil would be leaving behind his legacy in the Premier League:
‘Ozil has always had different sides to him. Good and bad. Jaw-dropping and head-scratching. But few players can match his technical brilliance. Few can even see the game in the way he does, let alone do the things he does with the ball at his feet.
‘His first two years in north London yielded back-to-back FA Cups either side of a World Cup triumph with Germany. But on an individual level, it was only in his third that it truly clicked for him at Arsenal. His 2015/16 season was an intoxicating display of craft and creativity.
‘Over the course of that campaign, Ozil had a direct hand in 28 goals in 45 appearances. He provided 19 assists in the Premier League, one short of Thierry Henry’s record, and created 146 chances, a staggering total which remains the highest in a single season since Opta started taking records almost two decades ago.’
“Everyone knows that Mesut is from Fenerbahce. Mesut is not just a football player, Mesut is Fenerbahce.”
Ozil joined Arsenal from Real Madrid in 2013 for what was then a club-record fee of £42 million ($57m) and played a crucial role under Arsene Wenger in ending Arsenal’s trophy drought, winning the FA Cup in his first season.
But he found himself used sparingly under Wenger’s replacement Unai Emery and again by Mikel Arteta, who said the player’s omission from the squad was for “football reasons.”
The German made 184 Premier League appearances for the Gunners, scoring 33 goals and setting up a further 54.
Arsenal won four FA Cups during his time in north London and he was named the club’s player of the season in 2015-16 after registering 19 assists.