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Dr Sogut exclusive: Ex-Arsenal star Ozil won't leave Fener; writing on football's seedy side; doubting Allardyce

Despite moving out of Europe's top-five leagues, Mesut Ozil remains one of the most popular players in the world.

That is according to his agent and close confidant Dr Erkut Sogut, who has spoke exclusively to TribalFootball.com.

The World Cup winner swapped Arsenal for Fenerbahce in January 2021 after he was banished by Mikel Arteta from both his Premier League and Europa League squads.

Ozil became a scapegoat primarily because his performances did not warrant his enormous £350,000-a-week salary.

The intense period has not diminished Ozil's popularity however, as Sogut explained before taking his "biggest client" on a promotional tour of Indonesia this week.

"Mesut is a player who polarises a lot. So players like Mesut have a lot of lovers and haters," Dr Sogut tells TribalFootball.com. "There's no, 'he's an alright player, I like him a little bit', that doesn't exist in the last 10 years with Ozil. It's either 'hey man he's a genius I love him, or he's so lazy I don't like him'. I see only these things with him.

"Good or bad, he always gets attention, whereas a player who is much better on the pitch is just boring. It doesn't interest people, media, or the press. Some people say it's perfect to have Ozil in the news because the haters will click just to know what's going on with him."



Dr Sogut has become synonymous with Ozil given his role in negotiating what was the biggest contract in the Premier League, but he also represents the likes of Cenk Tosun, Lucas Perez and Galatasaray star Kerem Aturkoglu.

It is this intimate knowledge of the football world that prompted the German native to write Deadline, a fictional book about the seedy side of the game such as nepotism and human trafficking, which he says have become normalised.

"Football is such an interesting world," Sogut says. "It doesn't make a difference. (Sam Allardyce) got banned from the England national team and got two or three other jobs. You're welcome at Palace, you're welcome at Everton, you're welcome at West Bromwich Albion.

"Nepotism, kick-backs, you can do what you want. We don't mind. It's interesting. You would think, wait a minute, Allardyce had to leave for a certain reason so he shouldn't get a job, right?



"It's so much embedded in the football world but it's normal. The normal fans don't really see it though, that's why I wanted to write about it for the fans to read about. I'm not a whistleblower, these are facts out there I'm using."

All of these problems feed off a lack of concise and fair regulations on agents by FIFA, Sogut argues.

Football's governing body has been trying to implement regulations since 2015 after realising that having an open market was creating an oligopoly that Sogut says would make it 'impossible' for smaller agents to create a business in an industry dominated by a group of 'super-agents'.

The proposed regulations, which have yet to pass, would see player agents able to earn a 3 percent commission on their player's salary, while agents who are representing the selling club in a transfer will be entitled to 10 percent of the gross transfer fee.



Ultimately, Dr Sogut believes that deals like Paul Pogba's from Manchester United to Juventus in 2016, which saw Mino Raiola earn €49 million for representing all three sides, are an example of where football has gone wrong.

Dr Sogut explains: "It's very simple. Someone representing a player is a player's agent, someone representing the club isn't a football agent.

"So if the club wants to pay per consultant 10 or 20 million in a deal, I don't care, but don't use the umbrella of an agent and pay so much money to the agent. Then the fans will start asking questions about why the club uses 20 million on a consultant when you have a sporting director, chief scout, five lawyers, everything in house, why do you need to pay so much money, then get rid of all these guys and don't pay them salaries."

In regards to Ozil, Dr Sogut is not predicting any more record breaking moves, that is despite the 33-year-old's future at Fener being thrown in doubt after he was frozen out by manager Ismail Kartal.



However, Dr Sogut says the former Germany international wants to finish his career at the Istanbul club, despite his own desire for him to move to Major League Soccer.

"Yeah he will finish his career there. I don't think so," Dr Sogut says. I know Mesut. We discussed the US in the past and I wish he would go to the US. But it's personal.

"We as agents have an opinion and players have an opinion and their family and you have to respect that decision.

"I wish he had gone to MLS for one part of his career, especially for the branding side. It will be fine. It's just a period. It will go back to normal."


You can purchase Dr Erkut Sogut's book Deadline by clicking here.

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Andrew Maclean
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