Last week, reports suggested Mesut Ozil was ready to retire from football, and had informed teammates that he had decided to end his career.
According to the claims, Ozil was set to terminate his contract with Istanbul Basaksehir early. But his camp have now spoken out to deny the rumour.
“There’s nothing to it,” Ozil’s representatives said (via Chris Wheatley). “Mesut Ozil will definitely end the season at Basaksehir.”
Ozil only signed a one-year contract with Basaksehir, so it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that he’ll call time on his career after that. But evidently, nothing is decided just yet.
Ozil has had a tough time with injury this season, which probably contributed to the gossip about a possible retirement.
Of Basaksehir’s 35 games this campaign, Ozil has been available to feature in the squad for nine of them, appearing on the pitch in seven and starting just twice.
But in fairness, Thursday’s game against Kayserispor was the second of those two starts. If there was a time to retire, it was arguably in the middle of his October-January absence, not now that he’s back playing.
Ozil joined Basaksehir after making 37 appearances for Fenerbahce between his January 2021 acquisition from Arsenal and his 2022 summer departure.
The 34-year-old scored nine and assisted three in what initially looked like a promising spell in Turkey.
But things quickly soured as he was excluded from the Fenerbahce squad after an alleged verbal altercation with the manager, and he then terminated his contract to join his current club.
Once we’ve seen what the rest of the season holds for the former Germany international, then we should have a better idea of his long-term intentions.