Werder Bremen have rejected an offer from Real Madrid for German World Cup star Mesut Ozil, the German club have confirmed.
Ozil, 21, was shortlisted for the Golden Ball award thanks to his impressive performances in South Africa and has attracted widespread interest in recent weeks, with his contract at Bremen expiring at the end of the current season.
Barcelona are Manchester United are believed to be keen on the playmaker but it is Real who have madde the first official move to sign Ozil by having an offer rejected on Friday night.
"We have received an unacceptable offer that does not even provide any basis for negotiations," director of sport Klaus Allofs said.
Real coach Jose Mourinho, who already has new signings Sergio Canales, Pedro Leon and Angel Di Maria at his disposal in midfield, confirmed after his side's friendly victory over Bayern Munich that he hopes to bring Ozil to the Bernabeu.
"He is a very good player and I would be delighted were he to come to us," Mourinho said. "Bremen have said no so we will have to see how things develop. If he comes, it would certainly be excellent. Ozil would definitely help us."