Mesut Ozil has reportedly rejected a new deal with Arsenal and has set his heart on a summer move to Barcelona, according to claims in Spanish newspaper Marca.
The report claims that the midfielder does not see Arsenal turning into a team that can realistically win the Champions League – a promise that was made to him when he joined from Real Madrid for a club record fee in 2013.
Marca also report that Barcelona have approached the Germany international’s representatives about a potential transfer.
The Spanish champions rate Ozil highly, and their interest dates back as far as 2010 when he could have joined Barcelona ahead of Real Madrid, but Pep Guardiola believed that his arrival could stifle Thiago Alcantara’s progression to the first team.
Ozil, who is contracted to Arsenal until the summer of 2018, has been in talks with the club over a new deal, although an agreement has yet to be reached. The player, who discussed why he is enjoying by far his best season with the Gunners, has also been linked with a move to former club Real Madrid.
German daily Bild have added fuel to the rumours.
They claim that ‘a representative’ of the 27-year-old has told them of interest from other clubs.
“It is well known and true that Arsenal want to extend with Mesut,” Bild claim they were told. “It is also true that there are constantly other requests for him. Mesut is a world champion, the most creative player in Europe, Germany’s top player – so it is clear that top clubs show their interest in him.”
Arsenal are yet to make comment on the story, and while they are unlikely to do so, they’d be loathe to lose a player who has truly blossomed this season.