Barcelona Reportedly Pull out of Mesut Ozil Race over Nightlife Concerns

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 24, 2017

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 18:  Mesut Ozil of Arsenal in action during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur at Emirates Stadium on November 18, 2017 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

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 campaignsince he arrived in 2013, per Transfermarkt.

The playmaker recently shared a photo of himself on a night out, two days before Arsenal lost 3-1 at Manchester City:

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:

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:

ESPN FC's Steve Nicol also disputed his reputation for lacking work rate:

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.  

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