Arsenal Transfer News: Manchester United Reportedly Ignored Mesut Ozil

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistFebruary 1, 2018

Arsenal's Mesut Ozil controls the ball during the English League Cup semifinal second leg soccer match between Chelsea and Arsenal at the Emirates stadium in London, Wednesday, Jan.24, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Matt Dunham/Associated Press

Manchester United reportedly ignored Mesut Ozil's interest in reuniting with manager Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford before the Germany international signed a new contract with Arsenal.

A report from Ciaran Kelly of the Manchester Evening News revealed how Ozil was "met by a wall of silence when it came to his preferred move to United, Real Madrid or Barcelona where he was even prepared to initially sit on the bench."

Kelly also detailed how "Ozil's camp repeatedly asked this correspondent if he had heard anything from United."

Red Devils boss Mourinho worked with the 29-year-old for three seasons at Real Madrid, and Kelly noted how the Portuguese "would have only needed to text Ozil to convince him to stall on the deal or jump ship."

Such an inducement never came and Arsenal officially announced on Thursday Ozil had signed a new contract running until 2021, per the team's official websiteBBC Sport's David Ornstein had already revealed the lucrative terms of the new deal, including his wages of £350,000 per week.

Mourinho managed Ozil at Real but opted against a reunion in Manchester.
Mourinho managed Ozil at Real but opted against a reunion in Manchester.PATRIK STOLLARZ/Getty Images

United's reluctance to open a dialogue with Ozil is confusing, particularly in light of Mourinho's history with the player.

The Independent's Miguel Delaney revealed "Mourinho had a specific tactical role in mind" for the Germany international but changed his thinking once United completed a deal for Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez in January.

Ozil's decision to extend his stay at the Emirates Stadium is still somewhat surprising, despite the ample financial compensation. After all, he has tied his future to a club sixth in the Premier League, eight points adrift of the top four and a place in next season's UEFA Champions League.

The Gunners missed out on participating in Europe's premier club competition this season after finishing fifth in 2017. While Arsenal could still win the Carabao Cup and UEFA Europa League, the club hasn't claimed a league title since going unbeaten in the 2003/04 campaign.

Such struggles are why Ozil needed to be convinced to stay in north London, according to Kelly, who revealed the signings of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang helped to encourage the player about Arsenal's long-term prospects for success.

New recruits Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang will offer Ozil support.
New recruits Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang will offer Ozil support.CHRISTOF STACHE/Getty Images

However, Goal's Chris Wheatley reported "Ozil's decision to sign an extension is not related to the new arrivals of Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan."

Manager Arsene Wenger is more likely a key figure in Ozil's decision. The Frenchman is out of contract in 2019 and has been subject to intense criticism and pressure over his failure to deliver major trophies since 2004, despite winning three FA Cups in the last four seasons.

Some believe the clock is already ticking on Wenger, who has been in charge at Arsenal since 1996.

The Daily Mirror's John Cross has referred to an apparent "revolution" in the way the club is being run, citing the increased authority of chief executive Ivan Gazidis, as well as recently hired head of recruitment Sven Mislintat and former Barcelona director of football Raul Sanllehi, on team affairs.

Cross hints at Wenger's apparent absolute power being diluted but also noted "most accept he will stay until 2019."

Ozil has stayed close to Wenger.
Ozil has stayed close to Wenger.ADRIAN DENNIS/Getty Images

Wenger intending to see out his contract may have influenced the player's decision, since Delaney noted "there is a genuine warmth between the manager and Ozil. They have shared chats about the game that Wenger hasn't had with many of his players."

One of the most creative players in the game committing himself to Arsenal is a massive boost for Wenger or even for the 68-year-old's eventual successor.

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