Mesut Ozil’s frustrated reaction to being substituted early in Monday night’s narrow 1-0 win at Granada has again fed rumours that the highly sought-after playmaker might leave Real Madrid if not offered a pay rise.
As new Blancos coach Carlo Ancelotti withdrew Ozil for the second time in two games, TV pictures showed the German international looking frustrated as he walked slowly from the pitch and straight down the tunnel. After showering and returning to watch the end of the game from the Madrid bench, on the final whistle Ozil went straight to the team bus and sat alone while his team-mates prepared to leave and then spoke with journalists in the mixed zone.
This led to renewed speculation on Tuesday morning that Ozil was unsettled at Madrid, and willing to listen to offers from interested Premier League sides who include Manchester United and Arsenal.
Ozil did tweet a reaction after the game, which steered clear of any controversy.
6 Punkte in 2 Spielen - das ist das Wichtigste. Hala Madrid. 6 points in 2 Games. That's most important. 〽1Ö— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) August 26, 2013
But this week’s recent transfer rumours look a continuation of leaks to the Spanish press all summer, which have claimed that the German international’s father and agent Mustafa Ozil has been seeking a pay rise from his current salary of €5 million a year towards a figure of €8 million after tax.
Ozil, 24, was signed by Madrid from Werder Bremen for €18 million in the summer of 2010. He and his camp may now feel he is due a new deal having established himself as a key figure at the Bernabeu in the three years since.
Recent speculation in Spain has also claimed that Ozil was one of the Madrid players unhappy at the €10-million-a-year annual which has been offered to Gareth Bale by Blancos president Florentino Perez. Reported Arsenal target Karim Benzema is another apparently unimpressed at being bumped down the pay scale at the Bernabeu, while Cristiano Ronaldo is thought not to like the idea of no longer being the world’s most expensive player.
While Benzema’s agent has publicly denied his client is considering a move away from Madrid, Ozil has kept his own counsel in recent days. He did however tell Sport Bild in July that he could see himself spending the remainder of his career at Madrid, while remembering that in football anything can happen.
"Of course I imagine myself retiring at Madrid," Ozil said then. "But something completely different could also happen too. In football everything happens very quickly."