January 22, 2021

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Mesut Ozil fuels Fenerbahce transfer rumours and rules out joining Schalke

4 min read

Arsenal outcast Mesut Ozil is being heavily linked with Fenerbahce (Picture: Getty)

Mesut Ozil has fuelled speculation that he could be set to join Fenerbahce this month by comparing the club to former side Real Madrid and underlining his desire to play in Turkey before he hangs up his boots.

Ozil last featured for the Gunners way back in March and looks certain to have played his final game for the north London giants after being axed from Mikel Arteta’s Premier League and Europa League squads, with his contract up next summer.

MLS outfit DC United are firmly in the race to sign Ozil but reports coming out of Turkey suggest the 32-year-old is on the verge of agreeing a three-and-a-half year deal with Fenerbahce, the team he’s supported since he was a boy.

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Ozil’s brother, Mutlu, even hinted at a possible switch to Istanbul at the weekend as he shared a picture of Fenerbahce’s badge on Instagram, along with a cheeky ‘winking face’ emoji.

The subject of Fenerbahce was inevitably raised as Ozil answered questions from fans in a Twitter Q&A on Monday evening and the midfielder – a third-generation Turkish-German – made no secret of his love for the Super Lig side.

Asked why he’s supported the Turkish giants since childhood, Ozil replied: ‘I grew up as a Fenerbahce fan as a kid in Germany.

‘Every German-Turkish person supports a Turkish team when they grow up in Germany. And mine was Fenerbahce.

‘Fenerbahce is like Real Madrid in Spain. The biggest club in the country.’

He later added: ‘There are two countries I want to play football in before I retire: Turkey and USA

‘If I went to Turkey, I could only go to Fenerbahce.’

There’s been some talk of a return to Schalke for Ozil where he would potentially be reunited with close friend Sead Kolasinac, who completed a loan move from Arsenal last week.

The World Cup-winning playmaker passed on his best wishes to Schalke, who are languishing down in 17th in the Bundesliga table, but insisted rejoining the club was not on the cards.

‘No, to be honest I will always have sympathy for Schalke and I wish them all the best from the bottom of my heart,’ Ozil responded when asked about a possible January move to the VELTINS-Arena.

‘But it’s not really an option for me right now…’

Elsewhere, Ozil stressed that he had no regrets about joining Arsenal seven-and-a-half years ago, despite his situation ‘unfortunately changing’ after the break in football caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

On whether he ever enjoyed playing for the Gunners, Ozil replied: ‘Of course – there have been many ups and downs so far.

‘But all in all I’ve never regret my decision to join Arsenal.

‘And to be honest the last couple of games before the corona break in February & March 2020 made really a lot fun.

‘I’ve enjoyed that time a lot and I’ve thought we’re really on a very positive way. But after the break things unfortunately changed.’

The World Cup winner remains Arsenal’s top earner on wages of £350,000-a-week (Picture: Getty)

The ex-Germany international made sure to pay tribute to Arsene Wenger, who signed him from Real Madrid for a then club-record fee of £42.4million back in 2013.

‘Arsene Wenger is a special coach in my career, one that I have total respect for,’ Ozil tweeted.

‘He is a great coach with numerous titles. Most of all, he’s a great, sincere person.

‘I associate him with my greatest Arsenal successes.

‘I will always remember that time with him positively.’

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MORE : Fenerbahce president speaks out on ‘dream’ move for Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil

MORE : Mikel Arteta confirms plans to sign new Arsenal goalkeeper amid Runar Alex Runarsson exit rumours

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