Former Bayern Munich defender Christian Lell has accused Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil of having an affair with his ex-girlfriend.
The story arrives from German newspaper Bild, translated by 101 Great Goals, and amid reports Ozil has broken up with Mandy Capristo. 101 provided a tweet of the publication running Lell's accusations:
According to the story, Ozil's alleged break-up with Capristo is "far from amicable." It appears the claims of Lell, who currently plays for Spanish side Levante, could be related. The 30-year-old is reported to have said Ozil has "always" been in a relationship with Melanie Rickinger, the right-back's former partner.
Lell is said to have made the claims on his Facebook account. He allegedly sent a WhatsApp message detailing Ozil's closeness to Rickinger when both were in relationships with other people. Capristo has apparently deleted images of Ozil from her Instagram account in response to the alleged split.
Ozil is prepared to take action if he needs to according to the Mirror Football account:
This isn't the first time Ozil's personal life has made it into the headlines. He was accused of "tiring himself out" before moving to Arsenal from Real Madrid, after reportedly spending £15,000 every couple of weeks on a private plane to Italy, where he would visit ex-Miss Venezuela Aida Yespica, reported by El Mundo, via John Drayton of the Daily Mail.
Drayton previously wrote that Madrid asked Ozil "to put his footballing career first," and that Los Blancos "couldn't wait to sell him" due to his alleged focus on women. Real Madrid president Florentino Perez was reported to have said "(Ozil) wasn't a good professional and was obsessed with women and nightlife," per ITV.
Ozil's performances on the pitch continue to receive criticism. The playmaker is rarely being afforded the chance to play in his favoured No. 10 position by Arsene Wenger, who continues to deploy him on the flank.
While Ozil's lack of pace and defensive contribution shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone—he is a technical player, rather than one who relies on physical attributes—his inability to complete simple tasks should certainly come under the spotlight.
He has just one goal and two assists in eight matches across the Premier League and Champions League this season, per WhoScored.
More frustratingly, Ozil has averaged under one tackle and interception per game for the Gunners since the campaign began. He struggles with 1.8 instances of "bad control" every match and is dispossessed an average of 1.3 times per appearance. This wouldn't be so noticeable if he exerted energy or tried to match the hustle of his team.
Bild's report was published on Wednesday, which just so happens to be Ozil's birthday. Rumours of the player's potential transfer to Bayern Munich also continue to circulate, reported by Barry Glendenning of The Guardian. Currently recovering from an injury which is likely to keep him out until 2015, per David Hytner of the aforementioned newspaper, Ozil will be given ample opportunity to respond to reports of his love life.
Speculation will be rife until he does exactly this, as Ozil's alleged affair and potential off-the-field troubles are likely to be pinpointed as a main factor in his consistent loss of form for the Gunners.