Mesut Ozil has revealed that he turned down interest from Arsenal, Manchester United, Barcelona and Bayern Munich to head to Real Madrid in 2010.
Ozil made a real name for himself at the 2010 World Cup, impressing as Germany reached the semi-finals before crashing out to eventual winners Spain.
The midfield playmaker was a regular for Schalke at the time, but claims he had offers from the Premier League, La Liga and the Bundesliga after his impressive performances in South Africa.
‘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 also explained that Barcelona was his first choice destination, but that he rejected the Catalan giants because then-boss Pep Guardiola did not bother to get in touch with 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.’