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Exclusive: Erkut Sogut on Hollywood, a new book, Saka & Arsenal winning the league

Agent. Author. Dr Erkut Sogut could soon be adding 'movie producer' to his cv as Mesut Ozil's long time agent fields offers from Hollywood over the rights to his book, 'Deadline'.

Speaking to last year, Sogut admitted there was some interest from movers and shakers of the movie industry regarding his thriller, 'Deadline'. And as we sat down to discuss his latest book, 'Remember My Name', he confirms approaches have been received from Hollywood.

Now living in the US, Sogut said: “Yeah, I have been approached from five different companies for now, four from the United States and one from England asking me to sell the rights of the book. But for now I agreed that I will write at least three more books and I will sell a series.

"I don't want to sell one to this and one to that because they are all connected to each other. So the characters are the same from one book to the other so it's a series of books, so when I will have at least three books I will sit down with a production company."

During last year's chat, Sogut was still in the process of writing 'Remember My Name', which has since been published.

He continued: “Yeah it is true last time when we did the interview we talked about this new book.

"It is part of my life in football, what I have experienced and the human trafficking in football. It's one of the things I have experienced, heard and seen and so I needed to get into it like a journalist.

"When I write my books, I become more like a investigative journalist than a writer. I go on the ground, I interview people, I do research, I went to conferences about this topic I went to government discussions about that topic, I went to the United Nations, I went to Africa, in different countries like Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya. I met people, I talked with people and players who knew human trafficking.

"I think that this is a topic which is not so much highlighted and I wanted to bring it to the world. It's a topic we don't talk a lot about and it is bigger than we think.

"Through this book, I wanted to bring awareness and this is my contribution, to show to the world, 'hey this problem exists and we need to look at it'."

Now being a credentialed author, Sogut has seen life from a football writer's perspective and admits the obsession and required dedication is similar to that of a successful agent.

“I don't know about a football writer's daily job, because I wrote my books in periods of time. But the life of a football agent is very stressful and there are some similarities because the writer's life of 24/7 and the agent life it's also 24/7.

"I just think that the agents make more money than the writers do, that's the only difference."

Expanding on life as an agent and how the industry is portrayed, Sogut feels much of the good work by player representatives is often overlooked by the press and fans.

He explained, “There are a lot of good stories about football agents doing a very good job for their players, working hardly for any money and helping them all over the world. But we don't hear about these stories.

"Instead, we always hear about the bad and greedy agents who do bad things for their players. Of course these type of agents are a minority as most work only for the good of their players.

"But this happens in every business field. For example also in law there are good lawyers who work for little money for their clients and bad lawyers who do bad things for their clients, etc."

Ozil left Fenerbahce last summer for Istanbul Basaksehir and both he and Sogut keep close tabs on the fortunes of his former club, Arsenal. Indeed, the German remains in contact with several of his old teammates, including Bukayo Saka.

For Sogut, Arsenal are now well on track to winning the Premier League - and he's happy seeing Saka flourish this season.

"I think Arsenal will win the league, I think they play the best football and they are very nice to watch," he said.

"I think that Man City are always a danger and will come back - but I wish for Arsenal to win the league!

"In terms of talent in the Premier League, I think Saka is an exceptional player - and also Phil Foden, he's an unbelievable player. These two are exceptional players, but also are different.

"They are both good to watch and very creative."

And in the transfer market, Sogut says such young talent like Saka and Foden will always find it's way to the Premier League. Having observed how the competition has grown this century, Sogut says it's progress is no fluke and comes down to serious financial investment.

While acknowledging the work of LaLiga in recent years, he says the gap between Spanish and English football remains huge given the commitment to development made by the Premier League.

“The Premier League is a brand the other leagues aren't, they are just leagues. The Premier League is a big brand they created over the years and they are selling this brand to the other countries so their TV revenues are higher.

"The other leagues do not have such a brand, La Liga is trying but they are very far away from the Premier League as a brand, so that's the main difference.

"They sell this brand worldwide and the others are more local or in the countries near them. The Premier League invest more in their brand outside England than in England so that's why there is a big gap between the Premier League and the others.“

The brand battle of the European leagues? Sounds like a boardroom thriller. Perhaps another football topic to explore? Though for now, it appears Hollywood is already calling agent and author, Dr Erkut Sogut.

- You can pick up Dr Erkut Sogut's new thriller, 'Remember My Name', here.

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Xhulio Zeneli

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