Transfer rumours linking Arsenal star Mesut Ozil with a switch to Bayern Munich have again surfaced after future Bayern manager Carlo Ancelotti was spotted at the Emirates Stadium, while the Gunners are reportedly interested in Leicester City's N'Golo Kante.
Ancelotti attended the Premier League match between Arsenal and Leicester on Sunday and didn't make a big secret out of it, sharing the experience on Twitter:
Carlo Ancelotti @MrAncelotti
Great game at Emirates Stadium. @Arsenal vs @LCFC Leicester #premierleague https://t.co/bRPC4eApVb2016-2-14 14:01:28
Unsurprisingly, it immediately led to plenty of speculation regarding Ozil, who previously worked under Ancelotti at Real Madrid, per Goal's Eliot Rothwell. The Bavarians have been linked with Ozil before, as the former Schalke 04 man is one of the few top German talents to escape their clutches, per MailOnline's Joe Bernstein.
Chatter picked up once again when German daily Bild claimed Ozil might turn down a contract extension offer from the Gunners, although the Guardian's Marcus Christenson immediately dismissed the story:
Marcus Christenson @m_christenson
Have now read the Bild report about Özil maybe rejecting new Arsenal deal. Not convinced. Can't see him leaving https://t.co/FQTJXhbmP3 #afc2016-2-13 22:41:15
Ozil has flourished since moving to north London, establishing himself as one of the top creative forces in football. Per WhoScored.com, he has already provided a ludicrous 17 assists in the Premier League this season—numbers that dwarf those of other passing specialists.
The 27-year-old is in the form of his life and finds himself in the perfect situation at the Emirates Stadium, where the Arsenal forwards play exactly to his strengths. Nobody expects him to leave the club anytime soon, although the rumours have increased of late.
Luis F. Rojo of Marca claims he is wanted by UEFA Champions League holders Barcelona, even suggesting the club has already contacted his agent. He also claims Ozil is “looking for a change of scenery,” although the Germany international is yet to give any sign that is indeed the case.
Ancelotti's presence at the Emirates will only add fuel to the fire. He's already been confirmed as the next Bayern boss, per the club's official Twitter account, and he's widely expected to add to the squad next summer and make it his own.
The Italian's visit to England's capital may have had nothing to do with Ozil, although Arsenal fans will rest a lot easier once the star midfielder puts pen to paper on a contract extension.
Elsewhere, Tom Hopkinson of the Sunday People (via the Mirror) says Kante could be a possible transfer target for Gunners manager Arsene Wenger, who has reportedly told his scouts to keep an eye on him for the foreseeable future.
The Leicester City star has been one of the unsung heroes behind their success in 2015-16 and became the first player in the Premier League to reach 100 tackles this campaign, per Hopkinson.
Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand is a big fan:
Rio Ferdinand @rioferdy5
Right now, Kante is the best tackler/retriever of the ball on the planet.2016-2-14 13:02:21
If his match against Arsenal was an audition, as Hopkinson claims, he certainly held his own, per Sky Sports Statto:
Sky Sports Statto @SkySportsStatto
Man of the match, N'Golo Kante 68 touches 6 tackles 7 interceptions 13 times possession gained 11.61km covered https://t.co/XL4NBWCw0x2016-2-14 13:59:44
Kante will be a popular transfer target during the summer, although the Foxes will do everything possible to keep him at the King Power Stadium. But while Arsenal would love to add another hardworking midfielder of his caliber, one has to wonder whether they have to.
The lack of a ball-winning midfielder has held the squad back in recent weeks, but that's only because Francis Coquelin was sidelined with an injury. When healthy and in form, the Frenchman plays the game an awful lot like his compatriot.
Both are fantastic at dominating physically in midfield but have their limitations, mainly in the passing game. They're just too similar to be on the pitch at the same time, and while they would provide excellent cover for each other, it's highly unlikely Leicester would be willing to sell the 24-year-old on the cheap.
The Gunners don't have any financial limitations, but they won't spend big money on a player they have no real need for or someone who would either be a backup to Coquelin or relegate the latter to the bench.