Jose Mourinho keen to bring Mesut Ozil to Man Utd next summer to solve problematic No 10 position
1 DECEMBER 2017 • 10:30PMJose Mourinho wants to bring Mesut Ozil to Manchester United next summer as he bids to address the problematic No 10 position at Old Trafford.
The Arsenal and Germany playmaker is out of contract at the Emirates Stadium at the end of the season and reluctant to sign a new deal with the north London club in the belief that he needs a fresh challenge.
Mourinho refused to rule out a move for Ozil on Friday when quizzed over the prospect of reuniting with the player he signed as Real Madrid coach in 2010 and later described as “the best No 10 in the world”.
Asked specifically if he could sign Ozil as a free agent next summer ahead of United’s game against Arsenal on Saturday evening, Mourinho smiled before replying: “No comments.”
It is understood United would prefer to wait until the end of the season to make their move for Ozil rather than pay the £20-£25 million it would take to sign him in the winter transfer window.But the situation could be brought to a head next month if other clubs opt to formalise their interest in the 29 year-old. Arsene Wenger has admitted it is “possible” Ozil could be sold in January, although the Arsenal manager’s preference would be to sell overseas rather than to a Premier League rival in the likely event he fails to convince the player to stay on.
Mourinho has done little to hide his frustration with playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan, whom he recently accused of a gradual “disappearing” act this season, and some of United’s other creative players. They include Juan Mata, whom he sold to United in 2014 when in charge of Chelsea and is largely unwilling to deploy in the No 10 role. Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Paul Pogba have also been played at No 10 with mixed success.
Ozil and Mourinho did not always see eye-to-eye at Real but their relationship has remained strong and the United manager even wrote the foreword to the German’s recently published autobiography, Gunning for Greatness: My Life. When Ozil left Real for Arsenal in 2013, Mourinho - back at Chelsea after leaving the Spanish club a few months earlier - was effusive in his praise.
“Ozil is unique,” Mourinho said. “There is no copy of him – not even a bad one. He is the best No 10 in the world. He made things very easy for me and for his team-mates with his football vision and decisions he made. Everyone loves him and sees a bit of Luis Figo and Zinedine Zidane in him.”
Ozil has been criticised at times at Arsenal for his work-rate and body language. But he demonstrated a strong work ethic and acute tactical intelligence during his first two seasons, in particular, under Mourinho at Real and believes he is the sort of player who needs to be challenged regularly by his manager.
United also have an interest in Ozil’s Arsenal team-mate, Alexis Sanchez, who is also out of contract next summer, but appear to accept that the Chile forward has his sights set firmly on a move to rivals Manchester City. City failed with a £60 million bid for Sanchez in August.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/2017/12/01/jose-mourinho-keen-bring-mesut-ozil-man-utd-next-summer-solve/