Football

Reports: Mesut Oezil set to join Fenerbahce

Fenerbahce will sign German midfielder Mesut Oezil from Arsenal for 3½ years for an undisclosed fee, Turkey's private Demiroren news agency and other Turkish media reported yesterday.

While there was no immediate comment on the reports from Fenerbahce, broadcaster A Spor said Oezil and the club had agreed on the transfer in principle and that the 32-year-old would join the former Turkish champions later this month.

Oezil's agent Dr Erkut Sogut told ESPN: "He might stay at Arsenal until the summer but he might go... In the next seven to ten days, it will be a little clearer."

Fenerbahce chairman Ali Koc said previously that signing Oezil, who has Turkish ancestry, was a "nice dream" for the club, who have suffered from financial woes in recent years.

Koc had said the club would need to offload players to make any transfers this month.

Oezil fuelled rumours about a move to Fenerbahce with a social media post about Istanbul on Tuesday, with the caption: "This city... #throwback #Istanbul."

Sports daily Fanatik reported that Koc and team director Emre Belozoglu flew to London to persuade the player, who is of Turkish origin, to make the move.

The German has not played for Arsenal since March last year and was not named in the squad list for the first half of this English Premier League season.

He has long been linked with a move to Fenerbahce, Turkey's second most decorated club.

Oezil, who is one of the highest-paid players at Arsenal with a reported weekly wage of £350,000 (S$627,000), is out of contract at the end of the season.

The Gunners are looking to offload players to trim the squad. Last week, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta had said the club would wait for the January transfer window to make a final call about the German national's fate. - AFP, REUTERS

Football