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Sep 3, 2013

Mesut Ozil 'escaped Real circus' - media

Mesut Ozil’s shock move to Arsenal has been greeted with excitement and relief in the German media, which branded his former club Real Madrid a "circus".

• John Cross: Assessing Arsenal's deals
• All the Premier League's deadline day transfers

Ozil's £42.5 million switch eclipsed Mario Gotze’s summer transfer from Borussia Dortmund to Bayern Munich, meaning the Gelsenkirchen-born son of Turkish immigrants is now the most expensive German player.

"Escaping the circus," headlines the broadsheet Suddeutsche Zeitung, which carries a long article focusing on Ozil’s last days in Madrid and explaining what exactly made him seek a last-minute exit. Following last week's press conference in which he reiterated his love for Madrid, he "had been waiting for a response to his declaration of love," the paper writes.

"But in the end he felt like a man who buys a bouquet of flowers and lays the table nicely only to hear that the courted sits in a fancy restaurant with another person", SZ comments.

Berliner Zeitung headlines "Expulsion from the king’s palace" and explains that Ozil had been where he always wanted to be, right in the footsteps of his hero, Zinedine Zidane, "until the managerial change".

The Sun plays on the famous 'One-nil to the Arsenal' chant
The Sun plays on the famous 'One-nil to the Arsenal' chant.

The paper suggests that Ozil had preferred a transfer to Manchester United, but the Premier League champions were not interested.

"Instead of walking in the footsteps of the inspired Frenchman Zinedine Zidane at his dream club and competing for the Champions League title, it is now about making it out of the Champions League group," BZ wrote. "With €50 million Ozil might only be half the price of Gareth Bale, but at least he is the most expensive sale of Real Madrid and, of course, the most expensive buy of Arsenal. A cold comfort in the end."

This sentiment is echoed in most of the German papers on Tuesday. The broadsheet FAZ headlines "Last-minute escape to London", and suggests that Madrid had become too big for the "tame artist".

The German tabloid Bild once again summed the feeling in Germany up as they headlined: "For €50 million, Real bully Ozil to Arsenal."

Several British newspapers focused their reporting of the second-biggest fee ever paid by a Premier League club on the fact that Arsenal finally put their hands in their pockets to make a signing.

Having only brought in Yaya Sanogo and Mathieu Flamini on free transfers prior to deadline day, the main theme of the back pages was astonishment that the Gunners had smashed their own transfer record at the 11th hour.

The Daily Express headlined "£42m Ozil Bales out Gunners - Wenger finally splashes the cash", referencing the fact that Real Madrid's world-record signing of Gareth Bale from Arsenal's local rivals Tottenham helped facilitate the deal.

A play on the famous chant of the George Graham era was made by both The Sun and the Daily Mirror, with the former stating: "Ozil to the Arsenal: Mesut sweet music to Gunners ears."

The Daily Telegraph summed up the reaction to the Arsenal manager finally making a big outlay on a star signing by dubbing the Frenchman "Wenger the big spender" on the front page of its sport section.

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