Barcelona have major reservations over signing Mesut Ozil due to their bad experiences with Arda Turan, potentially leaving the path clear for Manchester United to sign the Arsenal contract rebel.
The Catalan club have been heavily linked with a January move for the German World Cup winner, with Catalunya Radio even claiming the two camps had agreed a three-and-a-half-year contract.
But now Barcelona-based newspaper Sport have suggested those rumours are premature and insist the club are still unsure about progressing with a deal for Ozil.
They fear he could be ‘the new Arda Turan’, with the Turkish winger rather infamously failing to adapt to Barcelona’s style of play and enjoying the city’s nightlife a little too much.
Moreover, Barca have been unable to sell Turan – who is yet to play this season – despite significant effort being made to offload him, and they will likely be lumbered with him, and his wages, until 2020.
And some of Barcelona’s hierarchy are concerned that Ozil’s career at Barcelona could turn out much the same way, only he would be earning significantly more.
Ozil is believed to have asked for £300k a week, a salary that would put him on par with Luis Suarez at Barcelona and just behind Lionel Messi.
That could be too rich for a Barcelona board who have been made more prudent by their problems with Turan, while Arsenal would demand around £17.7m to allow Ozil to leave in January, six months before his contract expires and he can leave for nothing.
Man United also hold an interest in Ozil, and unlike Barcelona Jose Mourinho has no such concerns about the German’s mentality having coached him already at Real Madrid.