Manchester United transfer news: Mesut Özil 'a shock target' for Jose Mourinho as contract talks drag on

Özil is out of contract with Arsenal in 2018 and any further delays in negotiations could open the door for United to steal in and sign the World Cup winner

Jack de Menezes
Friday 11 November 2016 10:06 GMT
Mesut Özil is a surprise transfer target for Arsenal's Premier League rivals Manchester United
Mesut Özil is a surprise transfer target for Arsenal's Premier League rivals Manchester United (Getty)

Manchester United are ready to make a shock move for Arsenal midfielder Mesut Özil next summer if the World Cup winner continues to stall on a new contract, it is being reported.

With 19 months left to run on his current contract, Arsenal are determined to tie the 28-year-old down to a new long-term deal that will run until 2020. Talks with Özil have so far proven unsuccessful though, with the Germany international believed to be demanding a salary of between £200,000 and £240,000-a-week.

The delay in announcing a new deal has led to suggestions that he could return to Spain with real Madrid or even go back home to Germany, but The Sun reports that United are interested in signing Özil if he continues to hold out on a new deal.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said towards the start of the season that Özil is the closer to signing a new contract out of him and Alexis Sanchez, with the Chile international’s current deal also due to expire in 2018. Özil is already the highest-paid player at Arsenal as he earns £140,000-a-week, with Sanchez earning £10,000 shy of that sum.

However, it now appears that right-back Hector Bellerin will be the next player to sign a new deal with the club, having reached an agreement this week on a new six-year contract that will see him more than double his wages to over £100,000-a-week.

Both Özil and Sanchez are said to be demanding in excess of £200,000 to commit to the Premier League side though, and given that Jose Mourinho worked with Özil at Real Madrid, he could well be talked into a move to Old Trafford. United still have the power to attract the world’s leading players to the club even though they do not boast Champions League football this season, as demonstrated by their additions of Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the summer.

Mourinho has also widely praised Özil in the past, and described him as a world-beater during their time together in Madrid back in 2012. Mourinho said of Özil: “Ozil is unique — he’s the best No 10 in the world.”

The reports will cause concern among Arsenal fans who still remember the club’s ill-advised sale of striker Robin van Persie to United back in 2012. Van Persie was the Arsenal captain at the time, and went on to fire United to the Premier League title the following season, scoring the most goals in the top flight along the way.

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