In the last 48 hours, Arsenal superstar Mesut Ozil has been massively linked with a move away from the club with his reported destination being Manchester United.
It is easy to write this off as simple speculation. It is international break, newspapers have little to write about, so not too many hits, so let’s link the Premier League’s best player with the Premier League’s biggest club. Instant hits from the hundreds of millions of worldwide fans who before yesterday were just keeping an eye on ‘injury news’.
Add in that Mesut Ozil is currently in discussions for a new contract, the link could also be put down as Ozil’s side using Manchester’s 2nd club to get him the deal he wants at Arsenal. So often Arsenal have been on the receiving end of this, used to get a player a better deal elsewhere.
When you then mix in Manchester United being mid-table, in the Europa League and a club moving backwards rather than forwards, there is very little substance in the speculation.
But then you remember Paul Pogba.
At Juventus, becoming a global superstar. 4 league titles, 2 Coppa Italia’s and a recent Champions League runners up medal. But he left for Manchester United, and found 300,000 reasons a week to join them.
A lot of rubbish is written about players these days. A desire to play, a desire to win medals. But ultimately, with many modern day players, their biggest desire is that of their bank account.
It is why so many players have gone to the Middle-East, to China, to America over the years. It is why Yaya Toure left Barcelona for Manchester City. Ignore the ‘footballing project’ that they so often talk about, it is all about their bank balance.
Ozil moving to Manchester United would see him more than double his current £140,000 a week wage. Arsenal currently have a reported £160,000 contract on the table. Manchester United would see him probably double that. That would more than make up for the falling pound against the Euro.
And then there is one very special reason why Mesut Ozil would move to Manchester United.
In 2010, Mesut Ozil left Werder Bremen to join Real Madrid. At the time, Arsenal were heavily linked with the player. He ended up joining Real Madrid for just €15,000,000.6 weeks before he joined Madrid, they appointed their new manager, Jose Mourinho.
Whilst that summer Angel Di Maria was Real Madrid’s biggest signing, he was one done by those above Mourinho. Meanwhile, Ozil was his man. His signing. The man he planned to build the team around.
Ozil picked Mourinho and Real Madrid over Wenger and Arsenal.
Wenger finally got his man in 2013, signing Ozil for ~£45,000,000. His and Arsenal’s biggest ever signing. Mourinho had already left Madrid to Chelsea.
On that busy last 48 hours of the transfer window, Arsenal were also in discussion with Chelsea about loaning in Demba Ba. The deal feel through after Mourinho got a sniff of the Ozil deal. Jose knew how good a player Ozil was, and feared that alongside Demba Ba, Arsenal could shoot to the title.
The Ba deal did not happen, the Ozil deal did. Mourinho clearly loves Ozil.
“Özil is unique. There is no copy of him – not even a bad one. He is the best number 10 in the world.”
“He made things very easy for me and for his teammates with his football vision and the decisions he made,” he assured, arguing that it was a mistake to let him go.
“Everyone loves him and sees a bit of Luis Figo and Zinedine Zidane in him. We didn’t accept Arsenal’s offer for Demba Ba because the signing of Özil makes them title contenders.”
Ozil and his special relationship with the Special One could be the most important reason out of the 300,000 reasons a week he has to join Manchester United.