Barcelona are reportedly set to pass on Mesut Ozil in January amid concerns over the German's love of nightlife.
According to Sport's Tomas Andreu (h/t the Mirror's Martin Domin), the Catalan giants fear Ozil could become another Arda Turan at the Camp Nou, with the Turkey international having failed to make his stint at Barcelona a success since his debut in January 2016.
As noted by Domin, Barca believe Ozil's fitness "is not helped by him going out." The German has missed five matches through injury this season, which brought his total tally of injury-enforced absences to 38 games—the equivalent of an entire league campaign—since he arrived in 2013, per Transfermarkt.
Mesut Özil @MesutOzil1088
Check out the new song of my bro @RedOne_Official! 🎶#boomboom https://t.co/Omo0xPBfZX https://t.co/uubDxfiiap2017-11-3 15:42:40
Ozil is in the final year of his deal at the Emirates Stadium and could be available for just £20 million this winter, but according to AS' Juan Jimenez (h/t BBC Sport), he wants a significant wage packet:
BBC Sport @BBCSport
Mesut Ozil reportedly wants Barcelona to pay him £329,559 a week to join them in January. More gossip: https://t.co/g7uH3ninvw https://t.co/SrSoUMzbJI2017-11-23 23:46:22
The Catalan giants are wary of agreeing to such a demand, which would put him on around the same salary as Luis Suarez, as they believe it might "disrupt the dressing room."
Ozil's technical ability and creativity are tailor-made for a side such as Barcelona, and the likes of Suarez and Lionel Messi would have plenty to work with if he were alongside them.
The 29-year-old has produced 60 assists during his time at Arsenal, while at Real Madrid—where he was feeding Cristiano Ronaldo—he contributed 81 in just 159 games.
Ozil has long had a reputation for failing to perform at his best in the Gunners' biggest games, but he impressed against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.
Former Premier League star Phil Neville was among those to praise him:
Philip Neville @fizzer18
Ozil been brilliant today2017-11-18 14:04:28
ESPN FC's Steve Nicol also disputed his reputation for lacking work rate:
ESPN FC @ESPNFC
To all the Mesut Ozil haters out there... https://t.co/mPXgWtlVFT2017-11-20 11:23:03
While Ozil could do more to help out defensively, he typically covers a great deal of ground per game and is perhaps harshly judged because of his languid style.
He would most likely be far more successful with Barca than Turan, though concerns over his wage demands are valid. Nevertheless, he could still prove a shrewd acquisition in a cut-price January deal.