Mesut Ozil’s time at Arsenal is coming to an end with a strong sense that he could have achieved much more at the club.
His arrival in north London eight years ago offered great promise and looked to be the start of a new era of success for the Gunners.
But Ozil was not originally on the Gunners’ radar, and in fact was not even mentioned in an opening gambit telephone call from super agent Jorge Mendes.
As a report from the Guardian explains, Mendes contacted Arsenal transfer chief Dick Law offering two stars who were up for sale.
Madrid were open to allowing Karim Benzema or Angel Di Maria to leave the club in exchange for a big fee in order to raise cash for their pursuit of Gareth Bale.
Arsenal were particularly interested in Benzema, and Law headed to Spain to negotiate.
It was only once he had met with Madrid representatives that it became clear a deal for the French striker was no longer on the table, but the club were happy to sell Ozil to the Gunners instead.
“We were shocked,” Law said.
Mikel Arteta’s Gunners have been starved of title glory for a while now – but things could be changing as a new-look Arsenal side plot a course to success.
You won’t miss a single thing on their journey if you sign up for the brilliant new Mirror Football newsletter, either!
From the latest transfer news to the agenda-setting stories, get it all in your email inbox.
New signings Gabriel Magalhaes and Thomas Partey have hit the ground running following their big money summer arrivals, and the new-look Gunners are going all out for a top four spot and Europa League glory this term.
The Mesut Ozil situation continues to hang in the background and there’s plenty going on in North London to keep abreast of.
Want to sign up and follow Arteta’s journey? Put your email at the top of this article or follow the instructions on this link.
Ozil was a player Wenger had been an admirer of for some time, and sanctioned the deal to go ahead.
“Over those final four or five days the pieces just began to fall into place,” Law continued. “Any time you do a deal of that magnitude you’re excited. There’s a lot of tension involved but we knew he was going to make us better, and he did.”
While Ozil soon took to the hearts of Arsenal fans, his star quickly faded, more so after he penned a new deal worth £350,000 per week.
Law was at the centre of those contract negotiations, and insisted in a previous interview with Goal that the club were not held to ransom by Ozil’s demands.
Can Ozil be considered an Arsenal legend? Have your say below.
“The bottom line was what he was asking for was not just far from what our top salary was, it was significantly further,” Law said of Ozil and his agent Dr Erkut Sogut.
“Their strategy was to come in with a number as high as they possibly could and see if we would bite if we were desperate.
“Ironically enough, he signed for what we had offered a year-and-a-half earlier.”
Ozil is now expected to complete his move to Fenerbahce by the weekend, after agreeing to terminate his Arsenal contract by mutual consent with six months still left to run.