After a long summer of Arsenal transfer rumors, I really just wanted a few months to focus on the team playing actual games of soccer. Sadly, there are more rumors we have to address.
According to John “I wrote the book on Arsene Wenger” Cross, Mesut Özil is so confident that he will be moving to Manchester United in January that he has started to tell his Arsenal teammates he is leaving.
Cross does not claim any interest from Manchester United nor any actual negotiations. The report is simply that Özil is confident he will be moving. If the move were to happen, Özil would be reunited with his former manager at Real Madrid and Arsene Wenger’s personal troll Jose Mourinho.
Özil would be free to sign a pre-contract with a non-Premier League club in January because his contact would have less than six months remaining, but he cannot sign within the Premier League until his current contract expires.
Cross is also reporting that Arsenal would sell Özil rather than let him leave for free as contract negotiations have been slow with the player.
Arsenal refused to sell Alexis Sanchez to Manchester City as they didn’t want to lose Alexis without a replacement. How selling Özil to United would be different in the eyes of Arsenal is unclear.
It’s unclear why United would pay for a player they could get for free at the end of the season, and Cross doesn't offer any reason why they might make the move. They have a great shot at winning the title this season, but perhaps this indicates Mourinho doesn’t believe they can keep pace with city and compete in the Champions League.
Wenger did admit in a press conference that Arsenal could sell Alexis and Özil in January if an agreement can not be reach with the players. The team may have to cut their losses and try to recover as much funds as possible to help bring in replacement players.
Özil is reportedly looking for £350,000 a week. If that quoted number is accurate, and Manchester is willing to pay a fare price for Özil, I’d say go ahead and sell him.
But, this is all just a rumor with nothing concrete yet. We will see how this situation develops, but right now I wouldn’t count on this move happening.