MADRID (Reuters) - Real Madrid have completed their pre-season spending by signing Mesut Ozil and have new coach Jose Mourinho’s powers of persuasion to thank for luring the Germany midfielder to the La Liga club.
The 21-year-old playmaker passed a medical and signed a six-year deal with the Spanish giants on Wednesday to complete a move from Werder Bremen which came to fruition the previous day after weeks of speculation on his possible destination.
“I spoke to my advisers and looked at the options but I always wanted to join the best team in the world, and to play under the best coach in the world, Jose Mourinho,” Ozil said through a translator at a news conference at the Bernabeu.
“I chatted to him and he convinced me. What we spoke about will remain between him and me but that’s why I am here.”
Ozil, who denied forcing Werder’s hand by refusing to train ahead of their Champions League playoff match against Sampdoria, said fellow German international Sami Khedira had also played a role in helping him make his choice.
“I congratulated him when he joined Real, and we later exchanged emails,” he said. “I asked him what life was like at the club and he told me the climate was splendid and that they had a great team. I’m hungry to play football.”
Real director general Jorge Valdano took the podium alongside Ozil.
“He was a priority marked out by our technical staff,” Valdano said. “We view him as the last arrival for the new season.
“We have made a huge effort to bring young players into the side, five of our six signings are 23 and under, and we are very pleased with the outcome for the club’s future.”
“We weren’t asked to look for a third striker, but with Ozil’s arrival we can play in a number of different ways.”
Mourinho now has a host of talented youngsters to blend into his team but has up to four players competing for the attacking midfield role with Ozil, Kaka, Sergio Canales and Rafael van der Vaart vying for the same spot.
With the squad needing to be reduced by one to 25, the Dutchman looks the most likely to lose out.
“We have to trim the squad and we will look into doing that in the coming days,” Valdano said when asked about Van der Vaart’s future.
After landing Champions League winner Mourinho from Inter Milan as their new coach, Real have signed Ozil, Khedira, Canales, Pedro Leon, Angel Di Maria and Ricardo Carvalho.