August 18, 2010
When Real Madrid snapped up Germany's World Cup star (er, one of them) Mesut Ozil for a measly €18 million, a lot of people thought it was an absolute steal -- especially for a club used to paying over the odds for players. And just in case Werder Bremen wasn't aware of this view of the deal, Jose Mourinho was sure to publicly confirm that they got ripped off. From Bild:
Mourinho was desperate to land the playmaker – and was delighted with his 'bargain': “We got him for a price which was far under his real market worth. We could not miss out on Ozil.”
But the size of the deal was not down to a failure on the part of Bremen sport director Klaus Allofs’ negotiating skills – as Mourinho pointed out, Ozil’s contract in Germany was set to run out in 2011, hence the relatively low price.
Well that was nice of Jose to try and make Werder not look so bad by rationalizing the low price, but to preface that explanation by stating how you got him at an irresistible bargain kind of ruins it.
Meanwhile, Mourinho seems to have already worked his mind-meld on Ozil, who described how he came to sign a six-year, €30 million deal with Real at his press conference. Said Ozil via Reuters:
“I spoke to my advisers and looked at the options but I always wanted to join the best team in the world, and to play under the best coach in the world, Jose Mourinho,” Ozil said through a translator at a news conference at the Bernabeu.
“I chatted to him and he convinced me. What we spoke about will remain between him and me but that’s why I am here.”
Now, Mourinho is a master at positioning himself as an all-powerful being in the eyes of his players, but I'm pretty sure all he had to say in that secret conversation with Ozil was, "Come win a bunch of trophies with me and we'll pay you a buttload of money. Deal?"