Mesut Ozil would prefer a reunion with his former mentor Jose Mourinho at Manchester United rather than make the switch to Barcelona, according to reports.
The Arsenal playmaker worked with Mourinho at Real Madrid before the pair went their separate ways back in England – Ozil to the Gunners and Mourinho to Chelsea and then United.
And according to the Mail, the World Cup winner would rather a switch to the Red Devils rather than returning to Spain with Barcelona, where he would become another name on the infamous list of stars to play for both Clasico rivals.
Arsene Wenger is keen to make one last-ditch attempt to tie the 28-year-old down to a new contract, with the club previously reluctant to service his £300,000-a-week demands.
The Gunners have a far tighter wage bill than many of their rivals and Ozil is in a similar situation to Alexis Sanchez.
And if Ozil does leave it will be for nothing, meaning United can save money on a hefty transfer fee and worry about spending that money elsewhere.
In fact, the Gunners face a race against time to get a new contract on the table, with both wantaway stars free to negotiate deals with new clubs as of January 1.
And according to Mundo Deportivo, Catalan giants Barcelona have to make a decision over Ozil in the next fortnight after his agent warned them not to drag their feet.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan will be one of the players to suffer should Ozil arrive at Old Trafford – after being dropped by Mourinho who cited fitness and fatigue as an issue after the previous international break in early November.
After a flurry of assists at the start of the season the Armenian has been out of United’s squads for their games against Manchester City and Bournemouth.
Mourinho knows United need more of an attacking threat, having witnessed them labour during their defeat to Manchester City last weekend.
United were outplayed for large spells of the game and had little response to City’s incisive midfield playmakers Kevn de Bruyne and David Silva.