Barcelona Set For January Ozil Swoop


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Mesut Özil is on the FC Barcelona radar with the Camp Nou hierarchy split over whether the club should continue their pursuit of Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho, according to the Daily Mail.

The 25-year-old Brazilian international is a key target for Blaugrana technical director Robert Fernandez but others on the club’s board favour moving for the Arsenal contract rebel.

Özil, voted Man of the Match in the Gunners stunning 2 – 0 win over Tottenham in Saturday’s North London Derby, has yet to agree a new deal with Arsenal. His current contract expires next summer and he is free to talk to foreign clubs from January.

Speculation throughout the summer and autumn linked the German international with a move to Old Trafford, to be reunited with Jose Mourinho his former boss at Real Madrid. The pair are close with the Manchester United manager providing a glowing foreword to Özil’s recently published autobiography.

Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger has not given up hope of persuading the mercurial 29-year-old to sign a new deal. However, the club and player remain far apart with the Gunners owner Stan Kroenke unwilling to sanction the £350,000 per week wages being demanded by the German.

Barcelona are keen on exploring all options with the Coutinho saga continuing to rumble on. Despite reports of a willingness at Anfield to talk about a transfer, Liverpool has yet to show the Catalans that they are seriously considering selling their prize asset. The Reds are unlikely to do so all they while they remain in the Champions League.

Özil, by contrast, is not cup-tied as Arsenal are competing in the Europa League. Arsenal, it’s believed, are willing to sell their midfielder for a reduced fee rather than see him walk away for nothing in the summer.

With long-time target Arda Turan, 30, and Denis Suarez, 23, considered surplus to requirements, Barcelona may be able to tempt Arsenal into a player exchange deal without cash changing hands.