Fenerbahçe, Mesut Mesut Özil arrives in Istanbul

Mesut Özil signs for Fenerbahçe of Istanbul

The German player of Turkish origin has signed a 3.5 years contract with Fenerbahçe for 5 million euros a year.

Mesut Özil, until now Arsenal player, has closed an agreement with Fenerbahçe of Istanbul to play for the next 3 and a half years at the Turkish club, thus confirming rumours about his signing that began a year and a half ago, when the Fener‘s own directive had to deny his arrival due to the high cost that it would have both for the German midfielder and for the team.

The German international had other offers from Beşiktaş and even from the American DC United, but according to the Turkish press he would have finally agreed to put himself under the direction of Erol Bulut, Fenerbahçe’s technical director, despite the 6-month contract that still bound him to Arsenal, where Mikel Arteta barely has counted on him since March of last year.

Although the information published in Turkish media does not specify all the details of the agreement, the Turkish agency DHA said that Arsenal would have agreed to pay the salary of the German player of Turkish origin during the remainder of the Turkish Super League season, while other sources indicate that Özil would have renounced to collect what Arsenal owes him for the 6 months of contract that still link him to the club, in order to favor the agreement.

The Turkish agency assures in fact that Özil – the highest ever paid player in the history of the Premier League – has already a luxurious villa built in the Kısıklı neighbourhood – located on the Asian side of Istanbul – ready to live and that he will move there soon. The player himself published on Tuesday a photo on his Instagram account in which he appeared on the banks of the Bosphorus.

5 million euros per year and 3 and a half years of contract

The agreement between Özil and Fenerbahçe, according to the DHA agency, indicates that the 32-year-old German-Turkish player will earn 5 million euros annually – approximately a quarter of the salary he received at Arsenal – during the 3 and a half years that he will be linked to the club, with an additional clause that would allow him to collect another 2.5 million euros.

Fanatik newspaper states that Fenerbahçe president Ali Koç flew in person to London together with his technical director to close the deal with the player, who could join the squad later this very January. Koç had previously referred to the signing of Özil as an almost unreliable “dream” for Fenerbahçe due to the club’s financial difficulties.

Özil, a former Real Madrid player, signed for Arsenal in 2013 with a record salary for the English league of 387,000 euros a week; the following year he led the German team to win the World Cup in Brazil; however, as a result of his posing in a photo with Erdoğan and the German defeat in the 2018 World Cup, Özil was subjected to racist harassment and insults because of his Turkish origins and his religion, which led him to leave the Germany selection.

Özil has been surrounded by controversy in recent years

The controversy was fuelled after Özil – who has dual German and Turkish citizenship – invited the Turkish president and his wife to his wedding with a former Miss Turkey, celebrated in Istanbul; the player, who professes Islam, also harshly criticised in public China’s treatment of the Muslim Uyghur minority, criticism from which Arsenal distanced.

The signing of Mesut Özil by Fenerbahçe of Istanbul, one of the most expensive in recent years in the Turkish league since Galatasaray got in 2019 the services of Colombian Radamel Falcao, is also explained because for almost a year Arsenal’s Spanish coach Mikel Arteta barely has counted on Özil for matches in both the Premier League and European competitions.