Jose Mourinho has beaten his former club Chelsea and Sir Alex Ferguson to secure the signing of Mesut Ozil, the German playmaker who was one of the stars of this summer's World Cup, for his refashioned Real Madrid.
Ferguson has made no secret of his desire to bring the 21-year-old, who was at the heart of Germany's progress to the semi-finals in South Africa, to Old Trafford but the player always preferred a move to the Spanish capital, where he will link up with fellow countryman Sami Khedira, who was signed from Stuttgart for around £12m. The fee for Ozil has yet to be disclosed but is expected to be in the same region as he only had a year left on his contract with Werder Bremen.
Ozil will undergo a medical at the Bernabeu today after the two clubs agreed a fee yesterday. Bremen turned down an offer from the Spanish giants on Friday but Madrid have now satisfied their demands for a player who would have been available on a free transfer when his contract expired.
Madrid have also brought in Angel di Maria from Benfica and defender Ricardo Carvalho from Chelsea this summer as Mourinho looks to win back the La Liga crown from Barcelona in his first year in charge.
Ozil did not take part in Bremen's final training session yesterday ahead of today's Champions League qualification match at home to Sampdoria . Bremen's director of sport, Klaus Allofs, said: "We are respecting the player's wishes to take the next step in his career immediately."
Allofs had opened up new contract talks with the Germany international a year ago, but the player officially rejected the club's final offer prior to the World Cup. From that moment, it was clear Bremen would be forced to sell Ozil, who signed from Schalke in 2008.
Meanwhile, with the Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano still seeking a new club, Lionel Messi has attempted to persuade him to join Barcelona. Mascherano has made no secret of his desire to end his three-season stay at Anfield but has so far attracted no offers, and Messi wants his fellow Argentine to join him in Spain.
"The little Captain [Mascherano] would be a great boost for Barça," said Messi. "He has the quality to play for Barcelona and his character would fit in perfectly at the club."