Mesut Ozil's Agent Says He Rejected 'Crazy Offers' to Stay at Arsenal

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist INovember 13, 2018

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 11: Granit Xhaka of Arsenal FC looks on during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Emirates Stadium on November 11, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)
Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Mesut Ozil's agent, Dr Erkut Sogut, has said the midfielder rejected "crazy offers" from Asia before he signed a new contact at Arsenal in January.

Sogut told James Olley at the Evening Standard that Ozil was in demand before he committed to the Gunners but that money was not the only factor in his decision to stay:

"We had some really big offers from Asia - there were some crazy offers. But, for Mesut, money was by no means the biggest factor.

"Money is definitely one important thing to consider, but people must remember that footballing ability is just one aspect of a contract negotiation. The commercial impact of a footballer is crucial nowadays.

"It came down to what was in his heart. We were free to sign with other clubs and, in the end, Mesut loves the club. I put everything to him and he just said, 'This is my home, I want to be here'."

Ozil's new deal saw him become the highest-paid player in Arsenal's history on wages of £350,000 a week. He rejected offers of £1 million per week to leave the Premier League side, per Olley. 

The German moved to north London in 2013 from Real Madrid and has won three FA Cups with the Gunners. He will be 32 by the time his deal expires in the summer of 2021.

Ozil tends to divide opinion among supporters. He is a talented playmaker with bags of talent, but he has been criticised for his work rate and for often appearing disinterested.

It's also been noted how he has missed plenty of games because of illness:

talkSPORT @talkSPORT

Mesut Ozil at Arsenal 🔴 23rd Aug 18: ill 20th Apr 18: ill 18th Feb 18: ill 25th Nov 17: ill 1st Mar 17: ill 29th Dec 16: ill 20th Mar 15: ill 13th Sept 13: ill Arsene Wenger: “Ozil’s immune system has a bit of trouble.” 🤒😷 https://t.co/HWNS8HKPNv

However, he remains a key part of the Arsenal squad and has featured in 10 of their 12 Premier League outings this season, contributing three goals and an assist.

Manager Unai Emery has also handed him the captain's armband in recent games in the absence of Laurent Koscielny (Achilles) and Petr Cech.

He captained Arsenal from the start of a match for the first time in a 3-1 win over Leicester City in October and revealed his pride after the match:

Mesut Özil @MesutOzil1088

I think we played some sexy football tonight 😎💪🏼 Proud captain of this team and this club! © #YaGunnersYa ❤ #M1Ö @Arsenal https://t.co/iPFGxViAes

Ozil has also spoken recently about how he could see out the rest of his career at Arsenal, per Olley.

"Why not? I am still young, I am 30," he said. "In football, everything is possible, but I am really happy to play for a big club like Arsenal. I just enjoy it, and I can imagine finishing my career at Arsenal."

Arsenal are enjoying a strong first season under Emery, who replaced Arsene Wenger as boss over the summer. They are well-placed to battle for a spot in the top four and have already confirmed their qualification to the knockout stages of the UEFA Europa League. 

The Gunners will once again look to Ozil for inspiration this season, and Emery will need to get the best out of him on a consistent basis if they are to enjoy a successful campaign.