Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil reportedly held secret talks with Besiktas regarding a summer move and is said to have told the club he'll consider joining for the right price. Elsewhere, the Gunners have received a boost in their pursuit of Lyon's Corentin Tolisso.
According to Turkish newspaper Hurriyet (h/t Emre Sarigul of Turkish Football), Ozil met with Besiktas official Umut Guner, who was told a £350,000-per-week contract would be enough to tempt their target away from north London:
Ozil is engaged in a contract war with his current employers and has a deal that's set to expire in 2018, with no sign of an extension with the Gunners in view as of yet.
Arsenal appear reluctant to break their wage structure by paying Ozil and fellow contract rebel Alexis Sanchez the figures they are seeking, although goalkeeper Petr Cech has implored the club to do what's needed to keep their stars, per Sky Sports' Lyall Thomas:
"Alexis has been brilliant, scoring a lot of goals. (Him and Mesut) are both exceptional players and obviously you always want to keep your exceptional players. That's the main thing is we need to keep the team together and try to strengthen it in the areas where the manager would like to, and then we will be ready to go again."
The north London club missed out on UEFA Champions League qualification for the first time in 20 years by failing to finish in the Premier League's top four. After Sunday's 3-1 win over Everton, Ozil took to Twitter and made sure to note the near miss:
Arsenal can still add to their silverware collection by beating Chelsea to the FA Cup on Saturday, but Besiktas already appear to be moving in on Ozil, who has family connections in Turkey and has long been linked with the Super Lig.
Elsewhere, Italian outlet Calciomercato.com (h/t TalkSport) reported Juventus are no longer in the hunt to sign Tolisso after hearing his price tag has increased from £34 million to a staggering £52 million.
This plays into the Gunners' favour as they may be more prepared to pay such a price for the midfielder, and Tolisso has previously hinted at leaving Lyon, per Metro's Sean Kearns:
"I don't know if I'll be at Lyon next year. I want to play the Champions League and the World Cup. To be at the World Cup, you have to play the very, very big games. And you play big games in the Champions League."
The 22-year-old's apparent discontent at Lyon is well-chronicled, too, as Goal's Mohammed Ali provided more quotes from the player at the beginning of April, detailing his wish to move on to bigger and better things:
Arsenal's lack of UEFA Champions League football next season may, however, be a stumbling block in their bid to land transfer targets this summer with Europa League participation less of a lure.