Reports: $24m superstar rejects Manchester United and agrees to join Barcelona in January
What's the story?
Barcelona are a team on the ascendancy right now, and everything they are doing in the transfer market seems to be panning out wonderfully well... exhibit A: Paulinho, the much-derided superstar now has the same number of La Liga goals as Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, and Cristiano Ronaldo combined this season.
While there will still be critics who will scoff at the €40 million price-tag that came with the rejuvenated midfielder, no one will do the same with this deal - you see, Barcelona are all set to pull off a stunning bargain if reports in various leading UK publications (the Daily Express included) are to believed... the good folk churning the rumour mill have it on good authority that Barcelona have agreed a 3-year deal with Mesut Ozil, with Arsenal willing to do business for as low as €20 million; a ploy to prevent him from walking across the nation and into the warm, welcoming embrace of Jose Mourinho and Manchester United over the summer - for free.
In case you didn't know
Ozil has, of course, not signed a new contract with the Gunners despite being in talks with them for over a year... and is free to sign a pre-contract this January. While it's been reported that the German was keen signing for United, his head was turned by Barcelona's approach - and Arsenal would much rather do business with the Catalans than see him walk for free to United.
The heart of the matter
Barcelona are on the look-out for a replacement for the ageing legs of Andres Iniesta, and while 29-year-old Ozil is no long-term solution, he is a damn fine short-term fix. With him still eligible to play Champions League football, he also makes for a pretty great proposition to sign in the January window.
Ozil doing what Ozil does best...
... how magnificent he'd be in Barca colours, eh?
Mesut Ozil is one of the most technically gifted footballers of our time - and he'd have been a valuable addition to either squad... Barcelona, though, home of the midfield maestro would love to have him, though... plus, there's nothing like signing an ex-Real Madrid player to rub salt into the open wound that is the gap atop La Liga, is there?