Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil is reportedly prepared to snub a contract extension at the Emirates for a return to the Spanish La Liga in the summer.
The German international has endured a mixed season in the Gunners shirt this term with his best performances coming in the first half of the campaign.
Ozil, who has just over a year left on his existing deal, has been playing hardball over contractual negotiations in recent months, and according to The Star, he will turn down the Gunners offer altogether for a switch to Barcelona.
The World Cup winner is said to demand wages of around £300,000-a-week contract, and this is something that the Gunners have been reluctant to match owing to his patchy form over the course of the season. Arsenal’s contract offer is £50k-a-week short of the German midfielder’s contractual demands.
Ozil has won two FA Cup titles during his time in north London, but he still has not been able to produce the standout performances which he was known for prior to his record £42.3m move from Los Blancos in 2013.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has previously suggested that his side would do their best to keep hold of their main players, but the current speculation suggests that Ozil may have already made his mind up for a summer exit with Barca being his preferred destination.
Should the move go through, the FA Cup finalists could have a reasonable budget to spend on a new recruit in the summer while they will also have the relief of having not sold the attacker to a fellow domestic rival.
Ozil has provided 10 goals and 11 assists across all competitions for Arsenal, who are six points adrift of a Champions League qualification spot with just five games to play.
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