Barcelona will reportedly make a late move for Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil in the summer transfer market.
While Premier League clubs' deadline to make new signings passed on Thursday night, La Liga sides have until 23:59 p.m. on Friday to make new acquisitions.
According to Cadena Cope (h/t Football Espana), the Blaugrana will use this time to move for Ozil and are ready to offer £55 million for him. It's noted Barcelona are losing hope of signing either Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho or Paris Saint-Germain's Angel Di Maria.
Football Espana reported the Blaugrana are "desperate" to add some creativity to their midfield and will try to prise Ozil away from the Emirates Stadium.
James Olley of the Evening Standard said he would be surprised to see this one come off:
The former Real Madrid man has under a year remaining on his Arsenal contract, so if Barcelona were to offer such a substantial amount, there would surely be a temptation from some at the club to cash in.
However, Arsenal showed a determination to keep a vital player on Thursday. While Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain made the switch to Liverpool, as BBC Sport reported, Alexis Sanchez remains at the Emirates Stadium despite interest from Manchester City. According to Jonathan Smith of ESPN FC, City are "furious" at not getting the move over the line.
While he's not as crucial to the Arsenal cause as the Chilean, Ozil is a key player when the team is performing well.
The midfielder boasts a grace and intelligence that few playmakers can match. The concern for Arsenal fans has always been Ozil's ability to influence matches when things aren't going to plan for his team.
It's a trait that has often been used to undermine his obvious talent. As noted by B/R's James McNicholas, there hasn't been major interest in the 28-year-old despite his contract situation:
Barcelona may see a place for Ozil at the Camp Nou, though, and if he were to make the switch, he could thrive.
While the German is a passenger out of possession at times, it's rare Barcelona don't boss the ball in a match.
The Arsenal man's attributes align well with Barcelona's ethos. His passing range is wonderful, while his technical ability and cerebral sharpness is unmatched when he's purring. Ozil would surely be keen to join a club that places an emphasis on that type of football.
Still, with Arsenal unable to bring in a replacement, it would be a massive surprise if the club cashed in on the Germany international—especially after such a disappointing beginning to the season.