Mesut Ozil has revealed that he turned down interest from Arsenal, Manchester United, Barcelona and Bayern Munich to join Real Madrid in 2010.
Ozil announced himself on a global stage with a number of impressive performances for Germany at the 2010 World Cup.
Germany finished fourth at the tournament in South Africa, losing to eventual champions Spain in the semi-finals, but Ozil had earned himself a move.
The midfielder was playing for Schalke at the time, but claims he had offers from the Premier League, La Liga and the Bundesliga afterwards.
‘Arsenal were interested in signing me after the 2010 World Cup, as were Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Real Madrid,’ he wrote in his upcoming autobiography, serialised by Bild.
‘My agent sat down with Bayern to discuss a move. The club told him about their plans with me and how they intended to use me. He had similar talks with the other clubs that wanted me.’
Ozil explains that Barcelona was his first choice, but that he rejected the Catalan giants because then-manager Pep Guardiola did not contact him.
‘Before I travelled to Barcelona, I was convinced that was my next club,’ he wrote. ‘I was leaning toward joining Barcelona. There was no team in the world that played more beautiful football.
But Guardiola did not attend talks and he did not call me either the days after. He did not even send me a text. He did not show me that he wanted to sign me as well. My interest in a move to Barcelona quickly decreased.”
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