A representative of Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil has revealed there are clubs keen on signing him, amid fresh rumours the player will not agree a new deal with the team. It is also claimed that tentative negotiations between his agent and Barcelona have begun.
Speaking to Bild (h/t Sport Witness), an unnamed figure from the midfielder’s management claimed the Gunners want to extend the contract of the midfielder, but it seems as though there are also options elsewhere for Ozil.
“It is well known and true that Arsenal want to extend with Mesut. It is also true that there are constantly other requests for him,” the agent is quoted as saying. “Mesut is a world champion, the most creative player in Europe, Germany's top player—so it is clear that top clubs show their interest in him.”
In addition to this report, Luis F. Rojo of Marca has claimed the 27-year-old is a target for Barcelona, with the club “having made tentative overtures to his agent.” It’s also suggested the player himself is keen on a possible transfer, saying “the playmaker is looking for a change of scenery” and that he’s made it clear to Arsenal he will not sign a new deal.
As Sport Witness noted, the fact that two separate reports have surfaced out of the blue on the same day suggests there may be something to the stories:
Marca story on its own could be easily dismissed, but when Bild say similar on same day, and have agent quotes, it's clearly different.— Sport Witness (@Sport_Witness) February 13, 2016
Unsurprisingly, it’s claimed in the aforementioned piece that Arsenal have no desire to cash in on their midfielder, who is enjoying his best season in the Premier League since moving from Real Madrid in the summer of 2013.
Rojo also claimed despite having plenty of attacking talent within their ranks, the Blaugrana may jump at the chance to sign such a fine footballer should the opportunity arise. As we can see courtesy of OptaJoe, Ozil has shown plenty of ingenuity with the ball at his feet this season:
100 - Mesut Özil has created 100 chances in the Premier League this season, as many as Eden Hazard did in 2014/15. Inventive.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 10, 2016
The German does have all the features befitting of a Barcelona player. Technically, he’s one of the most gifted players in world football, with his ability to manoeuvre the ball making him easy on the eye. Critically, there is an end product to his play too, with 16 assists and four goals in the Premier League this campaign.
The prospect of Ozil’s incisive passes feeding players like Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar is a tantalising one too. As Sky Sports News HQ noted here, he’s a player who brings out the best in other attackers:
Would Ozil be a good signing for Barcelona?
Nevertheless, Arsenal will want the midfielder to stay for a long time yet. Although there were glimpses of genius in his first couple of seasons at the Emirates Stadium, it’s only this term we’re beginning to see Ozil live up to the hype that accompanied his move from Real Madrid. They’ll want plenty more from their record signing.
Ozil’s current deal with the Gunners runs until the summer of 2018, so there’s no real pressure on the club in that sense. After some brilliant recent form the player definitely deserves a new deal, though, and perhaps it’d be wise for Arsenal to get terms agreed as soon as possible.