EXCLUSIVE: 'I want to win a title for Arsenal' says £42.5m Ozil
Arsenal broke out of their financial straitjacket on Monday night with a club record £42.5million capture of Arsene Wenger’s ‘dream signing’ Mesut Ozil.
In a watershed day at the Emirates Stadium, the Gunners contributed to a record-breaking £500million transfer window bonanza to lure the Germany midfielder from Real Madrid. Ozil’s fee eclipses the £17.5m Arsenal paid for Jose Antonio Reyes in January 2004.
Arsenal have also made the 24-year-old their highest-paid player with a five-year deal worth around £140,000 a week.
VIDEO: Scroll down to watch Mesut Ozil completes £42.5m switch to Arsenal
Star saviour: Ozil has joined Arsenal for a club-record £42.5million fee
Stint: Ozil has played 158 times for Real in just over three years
Dream 48 hours: Arsene Wenger, here celebrating during the win over Spurs, has now signed Mesut Ozil
Fanatic: Arsenal fans show their support for Ozil outside their training ground in London Colney
His capture means the club have kept their promise of landing a high-profile signing after failed attempts with Luis Suarez, Wayne Rooney, Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain.Ozil said: ‘I look forward to my future with Arsenal. In talking with Arsene Wenger, I immediately sensed what had been missing, the wholehearted trust in me. I will pay back the club and the fans in each game. Now I want to help the club to finally win a title.’
Wenger said: ‘He is a great player, with proven quality at both club and international level. We have watched and admired him for some time as he has all the attributes I look for in an Arsenal player.
‘I have said throughout the summer that we have been working hard to bring in top-quality players. Mesut is a top-quality footballer who will be a fantastic addition to our talented squad. We are all looking forward to him joining up with us after his international matches with Germany.’
Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis added: ‘This is an exciting day for all of us. We have signed a world-class player who is one of Europe’s brightest young talents.’
Arsenal had to fight off competition from Paris Saint-Germain, who sought to gatecrash the move yesterday afternoon until a heart-to-heart with Wenger persuaded Ozil to reject a more lucrative offer from Laurent Blanc’s side.
Continental: Ozil is pictured last week in Madrid, but the midfielder will swap one capital for another
Ozil was adamant that he did not want to leave the Bernabeu when he first heard of Arsenal’s interest 10 days ago. But international team-mate Per Mertesacker, who played with Ozil at Bremen, talked his close friend into a change of heart.
Ozil issued a heartfelt statement in four languages to Real fans on Monday night, saying: ‘Thank you very much for three wonderful years with all of you, my time was unique and special for me, sometimes things develop differently than I would have expected them to a few days ago.
'I wish you and the team the very best. Now I’m looking forward to my new club: The Gunners!’
Together: Lukas Podolski poses with his Germany and new Arsenal team-mate, while Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla also took to Twitter to air their delight at the signing
Preferable: Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti (below) has opted to keep Angel Di Maria over Ozil
In addition to Ozil’s signing, Wenger completed a deal for Palermo goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano on a season-long loan. The 27-year-old, who will compete with Wojciech Szczensy, cost a £1million loan fee.Arsenal’s first scouting report on Ozil dates back to 2007, when the playmaker broke into Schalke’s first team. Wenger tried to sign him on several occasions after he had moved to Werder Bremen.
Wenger has also secured first option to buy Viviano, who has six Italy caps, on a permanent deal next summer.
The Arsenal manager said: ‘Viviano is a player we have rated for some time. He’s experienced and has proved himself at a high level and provides us with excellent cover.’
Thankful: Ozil posted a heart-warming letter to Real Madrid fans on his Facebook page
Moving on up: Wenger has finally come up with the goods at the 11th hour
Arsenal tried to resurrect their interest in Luis Suarez on Sunday night but their efforts were instantly rebuffed by Liverpool.
Upon meeting up with his Uruguay team-mates yesterday, the striker said: ‘I closed this subject a while ago. I have already taken the decision to stay at Liverpool.’
Arsenal also failed to secure deals for Real duo Benzema and Angel Di Maria, as well as missing out on Barcelona’s Javier Mascherano.
New recruit: Ozil will wear the number 11 shirt at The Emirates this season
Balancing act: Real have sold Ozil because they have signed other attacking players, including Gareth Bale