If reports emanating this afternoon are not the figment of the press’s imagination in Spain, then Arsenal star Mesut Ozil could be on his way back to the La Liga. The German international has little more than six months left on his current contract with Arsenal and has been the subject of transfer rumours since last summer’s transfer window.
Now reports from Spain claim Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has given Ozil permission to talk to Barcelona ahead of a January transfer to the La Liga leaders. This much is being reported by Mundo Deportivo (as cited by The Sun and many other English outlets), who reckon the Gunners are not ready to lose the German on a free transfer next summer and will be willing to sell to Barcelona in order to avoid losing him to their Premier League rivals.
The 2014 World Cup winner has been linked with a move to Manchester United, who are said to be eyeing a January move for him. But despite United’s reported willingness to pay more to sign Ozil in the winter, Arsene Wenger is said to be ready to let him move to Barcelona for €20 million (£17.7m). Aside from Manchester United, Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich have all been linked with the signing of the former Real Madrid and Werder Bremen star.
According to the report, Wenger gave direct permission to Ozil’s agent, Dr Erkut Sogut, to negotiate the deal ahead of the January transfer.
Judging by the report, it seems Wenger is offering the player to Barcelona and that the Spanish giants are not particularly interested in him. And if this is the case, it means Barcelona would only sign Mesut Ozil if they think he is a more viable option to their other targets during the January transfer window, which is likely to include Philippe Coutinho, who they chased last summer.
Only a few days ago the news broke that Barcelona had earmarked Atletico Madrid star and Manchester United target Antoine Griezmann as the backup option, should their attempt to sign Coutinho fail. Would the Catalans then drop their interest in Griezmann and go for Mesut Ozil, who is cheaper, if they fail in their bid to sign Coutinho from Liverpool? It is doubtful but we will all find out soon.