Adidas will end their long affiliation with Mesut Ozil this summer due to concerns over his public image, according to reports in Germany.
The 31-year-old has a £22million deal with the sportswear giants but BILD claim they have decided against renewing his contract following a turbulent few years where his reputation is concerned.
Ozil was accused of endorsing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after being photographed with him before the 2018 World Cup, while he retired from international football citing the “racism and disrespect” he’d experienced over the photos in Germany.
Former Real Madrid no.10 Ozil was the victim of a moped robbery in July as he drove through north London with team-mate Sead Kolasinac, while he recently made headlines for refusing a 12.5 per cent pay cut during the coronavirus crisis.
Ozil courted further controversy in December 2019 when he made another political statement criticising China’s treatment of Uighur Muslims. He was subsequently removed from the country’s version of the Pro Evolution Soccer 2020 games, his 30,000-strong M10 fan club in the country was shut down and his pages on Chinese social media sites Weibo and Douyin were also deleted.
The third-generation Turkish German has scored just one goal and made two assists this season, and is Arsenal’s highest-paid player on £350,000-per-week.
He is expected to stay at the club until his contract expires in 2021 although the news that Adidas won’t renew their deal with him is likely to be a blow just one year after Arsenal announced the German sportswear manufacturer as their £300million kit sponsor for the next five years.
Adidas sponsor some of the biggest names in world football with names such as Lionel Messi, Paul Pogba and Toni Kroos all regularly featuring in their advertising campaigns.