Jose Mourinho to swoop for one of his old favourites - report
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has been linked with a shock move for Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil, as talks over extending the German midfielder's contract with the Gunners continues to stall.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has admitted his club are struggling to match Ozil's huge financial demands as he looks to extend a contract that expires in the summer of 2018.
Those comments have alerted Mourinho to the prospect of signing the German World Cup winner he had under his command during his time in charge at Real Madrid.
While Arsenal are confident of tying Ozil down to a new contract, Wenger appreciates he needs to find an agreement with the German's advisers before the end of this season.
“We still have a scale of wages. It has become a bit more individual than when I arrived 20 years ago because every case is a bit special. But don’t worry, they are all paid well," states Wenger, as his club try to tie down Ozil and Chilean international Alexis Sanchez to new contracts.
“These days, when you sign a contract for four years, you are actually signing for two because of the simple fact that, just to keep the value of the player, you have to extend the contract two years before it is due to end. Sometimes one year.
"It is a little bit illogical because that means a player’s commercial value is inflationary because you never extend a contract to offer less, but you do not have much of a choice.
“It’s normal players try to get the maximum out of the negotiations because they only have 10 years at the top level if all goes well. If you were a player you would try the same. You try to earn as much as you can.
"My whole life I fight to get the players paid as much as I can. I want as well to be responsible, to pay them the money we can afford to pay. Ideally you do not want players to go into the final year of their deals.
"They have to feel you meet their needs at the club and they get paid for it. So that is why we negotiate before.”
The Sun are among those now reporting that Ozil could be a target for United if Arsenal fail to agree terms over a new contract, with the Old Trafford club capable of paying the kind of wages Wenger's club may be unwilling to sanction.