Arsenal midfielder Mesut Özil has said that he would only play in Fenerbahçe, Turkey's biggest club, if he were to continue his career in Turkey.
"There are two countries I want to play football in before I retire: Turkey and USA. If I went to Turkey, I could only go to Fenerbahçe," Özil said during a question and answer session with fans on Twitter on Jan. 11.
I definitely will. There are two countries I want to play football in before I retire: Turkey 🇹🇷 and USA 🇺🇸. If I went to Turkey, I could only go to Fenerbahce. https://t.co/TL68kUL62M— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) January 11, 2021
"I grew up as a Fenerbahçe fan as a kid in Germany - every German-Turkish person supports a Turkish team when they grow up in Germany. And mine was Fenerbahçe. Fenerbahçe is like Real Madrid in Spain. The biggest club in the country," he said.
I grew up as a @Fenerbahce fan as a kid in Germany - every German-Turkish person supports a Turkish team when they grow up in Germany. And mine was Fenerbahce. Fenerbahce is like Real Madrid in Spain. The biggest club in the country 🇹🇷 https://t.co/Y3hEba79IO— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) January 11, 2021
Özil has been frozen out of the team since March last year but the German playmaker said he has no regrets about joining the Premier League side.
The 32-year-old, who is under contract until June and earns a reported 350,000 pounds ($473,235) per week, was not included in the club's Premier and Europa League squads for the 2020-21 season.
Reports in British media say Özil could move from the London club in January and manager Mikel Arteta has said he would be allowed to leave if they received a good offer.
"There have been many ups and downs so far, but all in all I've never regretted my decision to join Arsenal," Özil said.
"And, to be honest, the last couple of games before the coronavirus break in February and March 2020 made really a lot [of] fun. But after the break things unfortunately changed."
Since joining from Real Madrid in 2013, Özil has scored 44 goals in 254 matches in all competitions.
Özil is free to negotiate with other clubs this month and local media has reported he has held talks with Fenerbahçe and American side DC United.
Fenerbahçe chair Ali Koç also added to speculation that an agreement could be on the horizon by revealing the move is "closer" than it ever has been before.
"Let me make a statement about Özil. I am still saying it's a dream," Koç told Canal+.
"If you are aware, we as the Fenerbahçe Sports Club, never made a single statement about this. What's important here is that Mesut can address the issues with his present club. We can say that this is a subject that we are closer to in comparison to the past. There isn't a single thing that is finished, it may end or it may not end," he said.
"Therefore, these types of stories being published in the press make our hand weaker. We will see what the days ahead will show us," Koç added.