Arsenal have been a tough side to peg thus far during the 2017-18 campaign. The inconsistent availability of some of the team’s key players have hampered bettors’ collective ability to bet on live soccer matches.
Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez have been in and out of the lineup amid contract issues, which has resulted in some inconsistent play from the Gunners to start the new campaign.
According to Metro Sport, Ozil has been granted permission by the club to discuss a new contract with other clubs. The Midfielder’s contract is set to expire at the end of the season, and there has reportedly been very little progress on talks of an extension with Arsenal. As a result, the 29-year-old German is likely in the midst of his final season with the Gunners. He has the ability to leave London on a free transfer next summer.
Speaking with the media after his club’s 2-0 win over Tottenham on Sunday, manager Arsene Wenger said, “I am convinced they [Ozil and Alexis Sanchez] love the club and love the team, but all the rest will be decided. When? I don’t really know. I believe they love the club and want to stay, but there are other top clubs out there who offer good contracts as well.”
Spanish news organization Mundo Deportivo recently reported that there has been contact between Ozil’s camp and Barcelona regarding a potential deal in the future. Barcelona have reportedly been informed that Ozil could be had for as little as £17.7 million on the transfer market.
Mundo Deportivo additionally reported that Ozil and his agent, Dr. Erkut Sogut, have been given “direct permission” from Wenger to negotiate deals with other clubs for the January transfer window.
While Ozil may want a move to Barcelona, the German midfielder reportedly isn’t at the top of Barca’s wish list. The current La Liga leaders still have their eyes set on Liverpool star man Philippe Coutinho. Barca went hard after Coutinho during the summer window, only to have their offers repeatedly rebuffed by Jurgen Klopp. Coutinho’s future at Anfield remains very much in doubt, however, and most believe the Brazilian will wind up at the Camp Nou at some point ahead of next season.
As a result, Ozil is essentially Barcelona’s “Plan B” if, for whatever reason, they are unable to secure a deal for Coutinho. Ozil’s agent has already reported informed Barcelona’s brass that at least six other clubs have already made offers for the player. If Barca are interested in getting into the mix, they should submit their own offer before it gets too late.
Ozil hasn’t been in the finest of form this season, which could impact his price on the transfer market. The German has started eight games in the Premier League along with two additional appearances as a substitute. Ozil has contributed a goal and three assists in his 10 league appearances.
As of now, a return to La Liga in some form appears to be the most likely result. Prior to joining the Gunners in 2013, Ozil spent four seasons with Real Madrid, where he scored 19 times in 105 appearances. Ozil has scored 24 times in 123 outings with Arsenal.
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