Footballer Mesut Ozil has stepped up his security at home after he and Arsenal teammate Sead Kolasinac were caught up in a vicious gang war.
Moped thugs tried to steal their watches in an attempted carjacking last month in London, prompting a rival Eastern European gang to warn the pair were ‘off limits’.
To show they would not be scared off their turf, the local gang responded by upping their threats and vowing to rob the players of ‘everything they have’.
Two men were arrested outside Ozil’s house in North London last week – and security guards and dogs have now been seen outside the stars’ homes in a 24-hour watch.
Ozil and Kolasinac spent yesterday in hiding, as their team beat Newcastle United 1-0 in their Premier League season opener which the duo were forced to miss.
Kolasinac’s wife has fled to Germany because of the terrifying threats, the Sun on Sunday reported.
The London gang are said to have considered the Eastern Europeans’ warning as an effort to intimidate them, deciding to respond by become even more violent.
‘To show they were serious, the thugs issued more threats to the Arsenal players and refused to be cowed,’ a source said.
‘It was thought that originally the robbers wanted their watches but now they have been told that they want everything the pair have.’
There are also fears that the players may be targeted online. Pictures showed Ozil’s gated house under guard over the weekend.
In the car-jacking attack on July 25 the pair were ambushed by robbers as Ozil left his £3million home in a black Mercedes G-Class.
The players were chased through the mansion-lined streets of north London in a high-speed pursuit as attackers pelted the car with roof tiles to try and break the rear window.
Security camera footage showing Kolasinac, nicknamed the Tank, confronting the offenders after they approached Ozil’s car.
Neither midfielder Ozil, 30, nor defender Kolasinac, 26, were harmed.
Despite their terrifying ordeal Kolasinac posted a defiant picture of the pair smiling on Twitter, which was captioned, ‘Think we’re all fine’.
Award winning journalist and writer who has worked as a stringer for a couple of acclaimed South Africa based German journalists, covered 3 Ugandan elections, 2008 Kenya election crisis, with interests in business and sports reporting.