Barcelona are reportedly weighing up a summer move for Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil who is yet to agree to a new deal at the Emirates.
According to a report in transfermarketweb, the World Cup winner will turn down any incoming offers for an extension of his current contract and will be looking to leave the Emirates, having made over 155 appearances in four years as a Gunner.
Barcelona are reportedly considering the idea of making a summer swoop for Ozil and bring him back to the La Liga, where he became one of the world’s finest midfielders over the course of the 3 seasons he spent at arch rivals Real Madrid.
Ozil’s capture would without a doubt add a significant amount of quality to their already impressive midfield roster consisting of Iniesta, Gomes and Rakitic among others, while also dealing a personal blow to Real Madrid, which would be considered a victory in itself around Catalonia.
Talks over a new contract for Ozil have been rumoured to be ongoing for a while now, but both parties have failed to reach any sort of agreement. And with a little over a year left on his current contract, Arsenal risking losing him for nothing in the summer of 2018.
With Champions League participation next season far from certain at this point, it would be difficult to convince Ozil to stay on for another season and it seems that the Gunners will be forced to offload him in the summer, should they wish to salvage some of his £42.5 million transfer fee.
Barcelona, who are trying to prepare for life without the legendary Andres Iniesta once he retires, are also said to be considering Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho. After this season’s performance, acquiring a top midfielder will likely be high on the priority list for Barcelona after getting a right-back.
There is also the issue of raising funds for this transfer as Arsenal will do their very best to extract every penny out of Ozil’s sale and besides the purchase fee, the 28-year-old’s wage demands are reportedly €12.5 million per season.
Though the current La Liga champions are expected to raise funds from the sale of players such as Arda Turan, Jeremy Mathieu and Jordi Alba, they still need to work within a limited budget and Barcelona have other areas to spend on, such as Lionel Messi’s new contract and strengthening in other areas of the pitch.
However, it is likely that these decisions will rest on the hands of the incoming Barcelona manager. Luis Enrique is set to depart at the end of the current campaign and it is likely that the Blaugrana will wait for their new manager to come in and identify his preferred targets before making a move.