Mesut Ozil has been excluded from Fenerbahce’s squad indefinitely after alleged verbal altercation with the club’s interim manager and a lack of fitness in their last game.
The 33-year-old former Germany international has made 37 appearances for the Turkish giants since joining from Arsenal in January last year.
‘Our Football A Team players Mesut Ozil and Ozan Tufan were excluded from the squad as per the decision taken. It is announced to the public,’ a statement read.
The club revealed they will make the reason behind the decision public in due course, but Ozil was withdrawn at half-time in Fenerbahce’s 2-1 win against Konyaspor at the weekend.
And football.london claim the attacking midfielder was involved in a verbal altercation with Kartal in their victory against the second-placed side.
According to Mail Online, Ozil’s public exclusion from the squad prevents him from training with the first team ahead of their away fixture this weekend against 14th-placed Kayserispor, the report adds.
This comes after it was claimed in reports in Turkey that he has been ‘unhappy’ in the Super Lig since joining, and was slammed by Fenerbahce president Ali Koc at the end of 2021.
‘Since the start of this season, Mesut Ozil has been compared to Robin van Persie,’ Koc told Fenerbahce TV via talkSPORT.
‘Ozil wants to play more. From now on, he needs to focus on his game and keep his commercial interests out of it. He needs to think about contributing to Fenerbahce.
‘Our coach also needs to try to figure out how to get the most out of Ozil. There is not a problem, despite what the media says. Mesut is unhappy because he does not play regularly.’
Moreover, according to Turkish outlet Aksam, Ozil was deemed ‘physically incompetent’ and struggled to keep up with the high-intensity level of Sunday’s match.
The 92-cap ex-Germany midfielder missed eight Fenerbahce games at the start of this year due to a lower back problem.
However, the report claims the club fear the injury has set Ozil further back physically, and he was replaced after playing at a ‘low tempo’ in the first half, according to Milliyet via Aksam.
The report adds Ozil’s situation was discussed by Kartal’s staff, who came to the decision the remaining weeks of the season would be very difficult for both parties if he continued to play.
They report Kartal has therefore decided to take the No 10 shirt off the star player, agreeing with his staff that Ozil would be unable to cope with higher-tempo fixtures.
Milliyet also states fellow midfielder Mert Hakan Yandas will take Ozil’s spot in the starting XI until the end of the season.