How Manchester United once tried to hijack Arsenal's deal for Mesut Ozil
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Former Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil spent eight years at the Emirates, but things could have been very different, after Manchester United tried to hijack the deal.
Ozil announced his retirement from football on Wednesday morning, calling time on a trophy-laden career at the age of 34.
The German joined the Gunners from Real Madrid in 2013, signing for for a then club-record fee of £42.5 million.
He soon established himself as a cult hero in north London, helping the club lift three FA Cups during his stay. He also managed 54 goals and 33 assists in 184 Premier League appearances.
However, things could have been very different, after Manchester United attempted to hijack Ozil's transfer late in the day.
Man Utd tried to hijack Ozil deal
Arsene Wenger’s former transfer negotiator Dick Law has lifted the lid on Manchester United's efforts to sign Ozil, and how Arsenal managed to get the deal over the line.
Law claimed that he was ordered to man-mark Ozil's father and not let him out of his sights for more than 12 hours.
Speaking in 2019, Law said: “The chairman got news that Manchester United were going to try and cut across the deal. So Ivan called me and asked me to man mark Ozil’s father and business advisor in Munich.
“I had to sit from 10am to 10pm in the bar at the Four Seasons taking calls from the contract team with questions about this clause and that clause. They eventually drafted everything and sent it over for Ozil to sign.
“Of course, this was all happening while Ozil was with the German national team so our access to him was a bit limited. But, we got it done.
“It was terrific. Between the transfer fee and the salary, it was the largest deal in the history of Arsenal.”
Law went on to acknowledge the role north London rivals Tottenham played in the deal, citing Real Madrid's signing of Gareth Bale as the reason for Ozil's move.
“But the story of Ozil, is actually called the story of Gareth Bale," Law continued.
“Real Madrid, for all of their firepower, really stretched themselves when they bought Bale.”
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
Topics: Arsenal, Manchester United, Mesut Ozil, Real Madrid, Premier League, Football