Barcelona want to sign Germany star Ozil

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The Independent Online

Reports suggest Barcelona have stepped up their interest in Werder Bremen playmaker Mesut Ozil and are willing to offer cash plus Alex Hleb to secure the Germany international’s services.

The 21-year-old has been outstanding during the World Cup in South Africa, being particularly impressive in the victories against Australia and England.



Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola is a big fan of the player who joined Werder in 2008 for Euros 4.3million.



Belarus international Hleb is deemed to be surplus to requirements at Camp Nou and has played in the Bundesliga before with Stuttgart.



The 29-year-old has started only 12 matches for Barca following his move from Arsenal two years ago.



Bayer Leverkusen coach Jupp Heynckes believes the capture of Michael Ballack will be a big help to the club’s youngsters.



The Germany international has agreed to return to Bayer, who he played for between 1999 and 2002, after being released by Chelsea at the end of last season.



"Michael is going to be the attraction of the league," a thrilled Heynckes told Bild. "It is incredible that such a fantastic player is now back in Leverkusen.



"I would never have thought that he would sacrifice so much money and I told him this.



"He will give us dominance in midfield, a goalscoring threat from free-kicks and the youngsters can learn a great deal from him.”

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