Real Madrid president, Florentino Perez, has reportedly lashed out with a character assassination of Mesut Ozil, following his contentious sale to Arsenal.
The German international midfielder was regarded as one of the best players at the Bernabeu for the past two seasons, and there was widespread disbelief when he was sent packing to London on transfer deadline day.
The Spanish club’s fans chanted for him not to be sold when Gareth Bale was unveiled as the latest Galactico, and there continues to be debate regarding the rectitude of Ozil’s departure.
But according to Perez, Ozil had to go because he recently became preoccupied with womanising and staying out all night.
Spanish publication abc.es claims that Perez says that when he signed, Ozil was a well-behaved model professional, but that over time, his behaviour worsened.
"Mesut discovered the world and became obsessed with women, a world that was alien to him before," Perez is claimed to have said.
"It wasn't about the women but about the late nights, the hours spent not sleeping.
"He wasn't a good professional."
Perez adds that when Ozil was signed from Werder Bremen in 2010 following the arrival of Jose Mourinho, he was devout Muslim “who did not eat ham and was religiously disciplined.”
The allegation is that that is no longer the case, and was one of the reasons why Real were happy to get the classy schemer off their hands.
Perez also blames Ozil and his father and agent, Mustafa, for being greedy.
He says that Mustafa had been demanding an €8.5 million per year salary for his son, and so combined with Ozil’s supposed ‘lack of professionalism’, Madrid were in effect forced to sell the player.
In the same article, Perez also claims that Gonzalo Higuain was sold because he and his agent father, Jorge, had grown too greedy.
Real had “grown tired” of Higuain and his father holding them hostage over reported interest from the English Premier League, and so were ultimately happy to accept €40 million from Napoli for Argentine’s services.
The article concludes by suggesting that both Ozil and Higuain will understand exactly why they were sold.
But in the case of Ozil at least, it does appear as if Perez is simply digging the dirt in order to placate those Real supporters still offended by the sale of one of their favourite and most highly-rated players.
After all, even with his alleged womanising and all-night partying, Ozil still managed 19 goals in 105 appearances for Los Blancos.
And he has consistently been among European football’s top players when it comes to making goals for his team-mates, with 25 assists last season- more than any other player on the continent.