Turkish giants Fenerbahçe are ‘working hard’ to sign Arsenal midfielder Mesut Özil, either this summer or on a free transfer in 2021.
The former Germany international has just over one year left on his current contract in north London and is among a handful of players who Arsenal are looking to move on due to his high wages.
His next move is expected to be to Turkey and specifically to Fenerbahçe, a rumour which has gained even more traction after Özil’s friend and television personalty Acun Ilıcalı revealed the club were ‘working hard’ to sign the 31-year-old.
“I receive lots of questions about Mesut Özil,” Ilıcalı told SporX. “I believe in the future that good things will happen. I’m not in a position to give details but I know our president is also working hard for this.
“When his contract with Arsenal will expire, the favourites would be Fenerbahçe. We are also working on that front.
“I really wanted to tell you in more detail, but I cannot. We’ll talk about these things when the time comes.”
Özil – who is third-generation Turkish German – has been close to a move to Fenerbahçe earlier in his Arsenal career, but the Super Lig giants were unable to match the Gunners’ price tag and the 31-year-old was forced to stay in north London.
The financial implications of the coronavirus crisis make a move for Özil during the next transfer window highly unlikely, unless Arsenal are willing to take a serious hit on the transfer fee just to free up space on their wage bill.
But when Özil becomes a free agent next summer, it now looks increasingly likely he could join Zeki Murat Göle’s Fenerbahçe, following in the footsteps of ex-Arsenal stars Nicolas Anelka and Robin van Persie by moving to the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium.