Schalke have confirmed they would be interested in signing Mesut Ozil from Arsenal but have said they would not be able to sign the Germany international next summer.
Ozil's contract expires at the end of the season and he would be welcomed back to the Bundesliga side where he spent two years before joining Werder Bremen in 2008, according to Clemens Tonnies the head of Schalke's supervisory board
He told Kicker (h/t James Benge at the Evening Standard): "I still have a great relationship with Mesut. We would definitely consider it [a return]. If it fits for both sides, it would be nice. The player could say that he returns to his roots, and that he plays football in this stadium and for those fans and the region once again. But it will certainly not happen next season."
Meanwhile, Barcelona could make a move for the German when the transfer window reopens in January, according to Mail Online's Pete Jenson.
Opta show what Ozil can bring to a team:
30 - Mesut Ozil has created more goalscoring chances from open play than any other Premier League player this season (30). Brew. https://t.co/4TcMPjcwmx2017-11-20 15:47:32
Ozil was in top form during Saturday's north London derby win over Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, answering his critics in some style, according to Goal's Chris Wheatley:
Chris Wheatley @ChrisWheatley_
Best performance of the season from Arsenal yesterday. Every player put in a shift. Mustafi superb on his return from injury, Ozil excellent & silenced critics again. https://t.co/BD79OyausF2017-11-19 14:47:13
However, the German's refusal to sign an extension suggests he will leave the club, although it is unclear if Arsenal will sell in January or keep him until the summer when he will be able to walk away for free.
Despite the fact that Ozil often polarises opinion, due to his laid-back style and languid body language, it appears there will be no shortage of suitors if he does opt to leave Arsenal.