Real Madrid have won the race to sign Germany midfielder Mesut Ozil, having agreed a fee in the region of €15m with Werder Bremen for the 21-year-old.
The prodigiously talented playmaker, who helped Germany finish third at this summer’s World Cup, has signed a six-year contract at the Bernabeu.
Chelsea, Manchester United and Barcelona had all expressed their interest in signing Ozil, but the player has opted to sign for Jose Mourinho’s Real side.
The difficulty now for Real manager Mourinho, however, is to formulate a starting line-up which can accommodate Ozil alongside the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Canales and Kaka.
Ozil’s arrival could signal Rafael Van Der Vaart’s departure from the Bernabeu, as Mourinho appears to deem the Dutchman surplus to requirements.
Both Mahamadou and Lassana Diarra’s days at the club could also be numbered, as Ozil’s German team-mate Sami Khedira jumped the queue for a place as a holding midfielder.
Real are 4/1 to win the Champions League, and their abundant strength in depth – coupled with Mourinho’s formidable ability to mould a winning team – could well be a lethal combination.
A big squad will also be crucial if Mourinho’s men are to compete domestically, and they are priced at 4/5 to regain the Primera Liga title this season.
Who will be Real’s main competitors for the Champions League this season? Barcelona are 3/1 contenders. See the full UEFA Champions League Betting Odds market.