download All Football App

Ozil 'in contention to become Turkish general manager' 6 months after retirement

  /  autty

Former Arsenal and Real Madrid star Mesut Ozil is reportedly in line to become the new general manager of the Turkish national team.

Reports have claimed the Turkish Football Federation are preparing to sack their head coach Stefan Kuntz and general manager Hamit Altintop.

The organisation has denied that Kuntz has been sacked, but confirmed in a statement that the German will attend a meeting on Wednesday.

Kuntz will meet with TFF president Mehmet Buyukeksi at the national team training base.

Turkey are currently second in their Euro 2024 qualifying group and are assured of a play-off spot, but suffered a 4-2 defeat against Japan in a friendly during the international break.

Kuntz has also reportedly fallen out with influential midfielder Hakan Calhanoglou.

According to German newspaper Bild, Altintop's future as general manager is also under threat, with the Turkey legend key to the appointment of Kuntz.

Ex-Germany boss Joachim Low is viewed as a possible contender to succeed Kuntz, with Ozil reportedly lined up to replace Altintop.

Ozil had played under Low for the duration of his international career for Germany, scoring 23 goals in 92 matches for the nation between 2009 to 2018.

The midfielder had been a key player in Low’s World Cup winning team in 2014.

Ozil announced his retirement from international football after the 2018 FIFA World Cup after being subjected to 'racism and disrespect'.

The midfielder and team-mate Ilkay Gundogan, both of Turkish descent, had sparked outrage in Germany after being pictured with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the eve of the 2018 World Cup.

Germany then crashed out in the first round in Russia, with Ozil becoming a scapegoat for the defending champions' woeful under performance.

Ozil came under heavy criticism for his picture with Erdogan, who has been described as a modern-day dictator by his harshest critics and his three-day London visit in 2018 was met with protests from a number of human-rights groups.

He said in a lengthy statement when he announced his retirement: 'It is with a heavy heart and after much consideration that because of recent events, I will no longer be playing for Germany at international level whilst I have this feeling of racism and disrespect.

'I used to wear the German shirt with such pride and excitement but now I don't. This decision has been extremely difficult to make because I have always given everything for my team-mates, the coaching staff and the good people of Germany.

'But when high-ranking DFB officials treat me as they did, disrespect my Turkish roots and selfishly turn me into political propaganda, then enough is enough. That is not why I play football, and I will not sit back and do nothing about it. Racism should never, ever be accepted.'

Ozil previously defended his decision to meet with the president and have a picture taken as he presented him with a signed Arsenal shirt. A year later Erdogan was best man at Ozil's wedding to wife Amine Gulse.

Should Ozil become succeed Altintop as general manager, it would mark a quick return to football for the midfield.

He announced his retirement from football in March with immediate effect, after struggling with injuries during a spell at Turkish top flight side Istanbul Basaksehir.

Ozil had joined the club from Fenerbahce after his Arsenal contract was terminated in 2021.

Related: ArsenalTurkeyOzil