Did Messi Block Ozil Transfer?
Did Lionel Messi Block Mesut Ozil Transfer?
FC Barcelona were linked with a move for Mesut Ozil on transfer deadline day, but it has now been claimed that Lionel Messi blocked the transfer.
After it became clear the Catalan club would be unable to lure Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool to Spain in the latest window, it is believed they turned their attention to Ozil, who has one year left on his contract with Arsenal.
Reports on the last day of the transfer window suggested that Barca were lining up a move for the Germany international, despite the Gunners undergoing a tough deadline day themselves.
However, according to Spanish publication Don Balon, it was Messi who effectively ended the club's interest in Ozil as he apparently believed it would have represented bad business.
How much truth there is to this is uncertain, with Spanish journalist and Sky Sports pundit Guillem Balague once telling Soccer Laduma in an exclusive interview that Messi has no influence at board level.
"Messi has zero influence on the board's decisions," he told Soccer Laduma earlier this year.
"Do they tell him what's going on? Of course they do, but he's got zero influence and he doesn't want any influence (on the board) whatsoever."
Ozil joined Arsenal from Barca's rivals Real Madrid, who have now won the UEFA Champions League for two seasons in a row, in 2013.
Do you think Messi has more influence over Barca's board than we know? Let us know in the comments section below.