Football transfers are filled with many “what ifs,” and for Paris Saint-Germain, the one arrival that nearly came to fruition was securing Mesut Özil in 2013.
Özil’s father, Mustafa, provided insights into the pivotal moment in his son’s career in an exclusive interview with BILD. The elder Ozil disclosed that during the summer of 2013 when it became evident that Mesut would depart from Real Madrid, two compelling options lay before them: the French giants PSG or the English side Arsenal.
“When it was clear that Mesut would leave Real Madrid, there were only two clubs with whom we started concrete negotiations: Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain,” the elder Özil stated (h/t Le10Sport). “Mesut’s career went very well until 2018, when his contract with Arsenal ended. He joined England in 2013 as the most expensive German footballer in history at the time.”
The German international, then a rising star and former Real Madrid player, eventually opted for Arsenal, a decision significantly influenced by the esteemed Arsène Wenger.
PSG’s financial might and growing football prominence were undoubtedly a tempting proposition. Still, it was the persuasive influence of Wenger that ultimately swayed the scales in favor of Arsenal.
“Manager Arsène Wenger had rebuilt the team, especially for Mesut, adapting the style of play to his needs,” the elder Özil added. “At the time, Madrid had never made as much money on a player as they did on Mesut. Added to this was the large advertising contract with Adidas. Things couldn’t have gone better.”
It would have been interesting to see if Özil played alongside Zlatan Ibrahimović and Marco Verratti during this time at PSG.