Turkish champions Istanbul Basaksehir, who won the Süper Lig for the first time this weekend, are ready to make an offer for Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil.
Ozil has been poor for the Gunners this season when fit and is still yet to feature since the campaign restarted in June. A back injury has been behind his absence, although the 31-year-old has still not even returned to the bench since declaring himself ‘ready’ prior to last week’s clash with Liverpool.
Manager Mikel Arteta hasn’t been keen to generally talk about Arsenal’s highest earner and his future at the club, most recently confirming that he is indeed now training and saying no more.
Staying at Arsenal any longer without contributing doesn’t seem feasible, especially for a club with existing known financial concerns, and 90min has been informed that Istanbul Basaksehir are prepared to formalise interest in Ozil that initially began last summer.
The move was first suggested this time last year by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has close ties to the relatively young club – Basaksehir only formed in 1990, didn’t play top flight football until 2007 and were last promoted as recently as 2014.
Erdogan is a personal friend of Ozil’s, having been best man the 2014 World Cup winner’s wedding in Turkey 13 months ago, and is keen to see him playing his football in Turkey.
Arsenal have been hoping to move Ozil and his £300,000 weekly wages out of the club for a year, only to see a lack of takers come forward, but Basaksehir might now be in a position to put together a suitable financial package nearing the player’s demands now that they are Turkish champions and have secured passage to the Champions League group stage for the first time.
Arsenal might still have to take a big hit on any transfer fee, however.
Most of Turkey’s big clubs have expressed an interest in Ozil. But Basaksehir, with government backing and support, look to be in the strongest position to actually get a deal over the line.
Ozil himself has indicated that he would seriously consider a move to Turkey as he is extremely proud of his Turkish heritage. Indeed, the backlash from posing for a picture with Erdogan in 2018 ultimately led to his shock retirement from international football with Germany.