According to Football London, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is eyeing a move for Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil. The German’s contract expires in 2018, which leaves the Gunners in a difficult position this summer. He has shown no sign of agreeing to a contract extension in North London, despite negotiations between his representatives and the club. His team-mate Alexis Sanchez is in a similar situation and it would be a huge blow for the Gunners to lose both players this summer. They have had a long history of selling players to rival clubs in the Premier League and this link will not be well received by their supporters.
Mourinho previously managed Ozil when both were at Real Madrid and he has always spoken very positively about the midfielder publicly. Manchester United will be hoping that they can use that relationship to their advantage to make the move happen. It won’t be an easy deal for the Red Devils to complete, as their top six rivals will be reluctant to let the German move to Old Trafford. They will have learned from the Robin van Persie deal and if they are going to sell their number 11, then it will be to a foreign club. The report does state that Bayern Munich are interested in bringing him back to the Bundesliga and that would be more suited to Arsenal.
Although he is much maligned by the English media for his lack of impact in big matches, those inside the game often talk about Ozil as a unique talent. It is easy to see why Manchester United will be looking to sign him. They have used a 4-2-3-1 frequently this season, but they have struggled to find the right player for the number ten role. Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan have both been used there on several occasions. However, they are both better suited to playing elsewhere on the pitch. The Arsenal man is regarded as one of the best number tens in the world and he would immediately solve that problem for Mourinho.
This season hasn’t been Ozil’s best. He has contributed five goals and four assists in the league, but he has continued to create a chance every 31.6 minutes. Although this is down from last campaign’s 21.1 minutes, it underlines the fact that he remains one of the best creative midfielders in the world. At the age of 28, he is coming into the peak years of his career and he would be a great signing for nearly any club in the world. Another reason why he will be an attractive option for Manchester United is that he has won few trophies at club level. He will have a lot of hunger to achieve success over the coming years and United need characters like that as they attempt to return to the top of the English game.
For the German international, it is a move that will tick a lot of boxes. Manchester United are a club on the up and they are beginning to assemble a very good squad of players. He would be guaranteed regular first team football and playing in a team that will challenge for major honours. That hasn’t always been the case at Arsenal. The 28-year-old enjoys life in England and he will feel like he has unfinished business in the Premier League. A move to Old Trafford could be the right one at this stage of his career.
This is certainly an interesting story and one that is likely to develop over the coming weeks. However, it would be a huge surprise if Arsenal did choose to sell one of their best players to a rival club. They have become a better side since Robin van Persie moved to Old Trafford and it will set them back if Ozil makes the same journey.
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