The departure of Arsenal's record signing Mesut Ozil has caused quite a stir at Real Madrid.
Players including Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo have expressed their upset and anger at the decision, which has clearly had more of an effect on the club than the hierarchy imagined.
Now possibly as a result, Madrid have gone into damage limitation mode, with the club's favourite newspaper launching a stinging attack on the German.
The paper have accused Ozil of being both underhand, and motivated by money rather than success.
Marca accuse Ozil of being less than truthful in his claim that Arsene Wenger convinced him in a half hour phone call to join Arsenal.
They state: "Arsène Wenger must be quite the charmer! Or could it be that Özil and his father, Mustafa, already had their minds made up for other reasons?"
Ozil is accused of making up his mind to leave Real Madrid days beforehand, despite the fact on the day of the transfer Marca were running the story that the German wanted to stay at the Bernabeu.
They question his comments over Carlo Ancelotti's 'lack of faith' in him, postulating that he started two out of three games under the Italian, asking what exactly the problem was?
This conveniently ignores the fact he was played in an usual role, and does not take into account any personal conversations or lack of between the pair.
Their most damning line comes at the end of their editorial entitled 'The curious case of Ozil and Wenger's phone call', where they write: "Özil choosing money over success on the pitch is another kettle of fish, however, and on that count, he certainly looks set to get what's coming to him."
They are not only insinuating that Arsenal's new number 11 left for the money, but are calling him a liar in doing so. Perhaps even worse is that they suggest he will be starved of success at Arsenal, a matter of fact over the past few seasons but one the German's signing is supposed to address and change.
It really looks like Real Madrid have been shaken up by the departure, which has been described as perplexing by lead figures in Ozil's homeland of Germany. Asking their press to do a hatchet job on the playmaker is just a last ditch attempt to save face after the horse has bolted.
What do you think of the report? Sour grapes?
image: © jansolo09