Sunday 19 November 2017

Tottenham tried to hi-jack insert clause in Gareth Bale contract with Real Madrid preventing Mesut Ozil joining Arsenal

How Spurs tried to prevent Mesut Ozil joining Arsenal

Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil
Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil

Jason Burt

Football clubs attempt to insert all kinds of clauses in contracts and it can now be revealed that Tottenham Hotspur made an extraordinary effort to prevent Mesut Ozil leaving Real Madrid and moving to Arsenal for £42.5 million.

Spurs are understood to have wanted to insert a binding guarantee as part of the world record £85m deal to sell Gareth Bale to the Spanish club. The guarantee would have prevented Real from selling four named players, headed by Ozil, to English clubs this campaign.

The quartet were Ozil, Angel Di Maria and Karim Benzema - who had all interested Spurs' north London rivals - and left-back Fabio Coentrao, who Manchester United tried to sign in a deadline day deal last September.

Spurs wanted Real to hold off allowing any of those players to come to England until this summer, but despite exploring the legal possibilities - such as adding a letter to the Bale contract - they were unable to reach an agreement.

At one stage Spurs had themselves hoped to bring in players from Real as part of the complicated Bale deal but that proved impossible with Ozil not wanting to join a club who were not competing in the Champions League and negotiations over Coentrao breaking down over his wages.

 Spurs did not specifically attempt to stop Ozil from joining Arsenal, although they were aware that it was possible once the Bale deal was agreed, but just wanted to stop him coming to England if he did not join them.

The signing of Ozil has not, yet, been the success that Arsenal had hoped for when he agreed a five-year deal for a record fee, but his arrival did prove an initial boost for the club and there is no doubting his quality. Arsene Wenger is adamant that next season will see the best of the German midfielder.

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