Ozil accepts Fenerbahce spell went in wrong 'direction' ahead of Istanbul Basaksehir move

·2-min read

Mesut Ozil acknowledged his "dream" move to Fenerbahce did not go in the "direction" he wanted as he heads for Istanbul Basaksehir.

The 33-year-old had been at odds with interim head coach Ismail Kartal, and Jorge Jesus seemingly made it clear Ozil was not part of his plans following his appointment as boss last month.

Former Germany midfielder Ozil joined Fener on a three-and-a-half-year deal in January 2021 following his release from Arsenal.

Ozil's move did not go to plan, though, and the playmaker has been in the wilderness once again since being banished from first-team duties in March.

Media speculation linked him with Basaksehir and the club hinted at an agreement with a tweet in which Ozil was tagged on Wednesday.

That was followed by Ozil bidding farewell to Fenerbahce, recognising his time at the club was a disappointment.

He tweeted: "One of the things that makes life is that it is full of uncertainties. Our plans, desires and wishes may not always go in the direction you want them to.

"I wanted to achieve success by getting more chances to play in the Fenerbahce jersey, which has always been my childhood dream.

"I would like to thank the Fenerbahce community and fans for the great support they have shown me."

However, Ozil's apparent choice of a move to Basaksehir may not come as a huge surprise to many.

The 2019-20 Turkish Super Lig champions have close ties to the country's controversial president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was allowed to score a hat-trick in the exhibition game that inaugurated their Fatih Terim Stadium in 2014. His number 12 jersey was retired.

In 2018, Ozil – and Ilkay Gundogan, who is also of Turkish heritage – courted significant criticism for posing for photographs with Erdogan when he visited London.

Ozil retired from international football after the 2018 World Cup. He felt the backlash and media coverage relating to his meeting with Erdogan were part of a wider racist agenda, which was key in his decision to call it quits.

The following year, Erdogan was Ozil's best man at his wedding on the banks of the Bosphorus.

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