Chelsea Transfer News: Blues 'Hot Candidate' in Chase for Arsenal's Mesut Ozil

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistNovember 29, 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

Chelsea are reportedly a "hot candidate" to land Arsenal star Mesut Ozil, according to the latest transfer rumours from Germany. 

As reported by Sport Witness, SportBild profiled the Gunners and the changes that may be on the horizon for the club, highlighting Chelsea as a possible destination for Ozil. Per the report, speculation regarding a move to Barcelona or Manchester United has gone quiet of late.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 18:  Jan Vertonghen of Tottenham Hotspur and Mesut Ozil of Arsenal battle for possession during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur at Emirates Stadium on November 18, 2017 in London, England.  (Photo
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

SportBild's report doesn't clarify whether the Blues would target a January move―something manager Arsene Wenger would rather not facilitate―or a summer transfer as a free agent, although some of the language points to the summer window, per Sport Witness.

Per James Olley of the London Evening Standard, Wenger expects the Germany international to stick around until at least then:

Contract negotiations between Ozil and Arsenal appear to be headed nowhere, and with just weeks left until the January transfer window opens, the two parties seem headed for a split. Foreign clubs can offer the former Real Madrid man a pre-contract as soon as the window opens.

Links with Barcelona have periodically popped up, but the most persistent rumours have involved United. BBC 5 Live Sport's Ian Wright recently weighed in on the possibility of a move:

The Chelsea links are new, but perhaps not unexpected. Per Harry Howes of the Daily Star, Blues manager Antonio Conte has made it clear he wants the club to invest in his squad, and Ozil could be a tremendous value signing, due to his current contract.

Arsenal would be loath to sell to a local rival, but they would be powerless to stop Ozil from moving across London on a free transfer during the summer.

TOPSHOT - Arsenal's German midfielder Mesut Ozil controls the ball during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium in London on November 18, 2017.  / AFP PHOTO / Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / RESTRICTE
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/Getty Images

Conte has made frequent use of the 3-4-2-1 formation Wenger has relied on heavily this season, and Ozil could be a likely replacement for Willian in such a system. The Brazilian is reportedly looking to leave the Blues, per UOL (via Metro).

A transfer from Arsenal to Chelsea would surely be a controversial move, but things wouldn't be any different if he joined Barcelona or United at this stage.

A free transfer of the German would free up funds for the Blues to be used elsewhere.

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