Arsenal more or less need to replace Mesut Özil in their team. He has been intensely linked with Barca this week and, as the saying goes, there is usually no smoke without fire. I think Özil will stay loyal to Wenger and sign a new contract but the rumours in the last couple of days make me think he could leave the club.
According to Spanish media reports, which have been re-reported by various English media outlets, Wenger has sanctioned the sale of Mesut Özil to Barca and all that is holding the deal up is the player agreeing personal terms with the Catalans. Özil reportedly wants €370,000 per week. He was initially said to be just a back up for Barca should they fail in their bid to sign Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool but it could mean that they have accepted defeat in the race for Coutinho’s signature.
Arsenal, along with Liverpool and Tottenham, have been liked with the signing of Leon Goretzka. Only yesterday he was rumoured to have agreed a move to Barca next summer. According to reports, the German may not be going to Barca after all but could instead be moving to Arsenal. Sven Mislintat, Arsenal’s newly recruited scout, is said to be very impressed with the German and is already working to agree a deal. Surely if the player has chosen Barca, Arsenal will know and would have given up?
If true and Arsenal are working on signing Goretzka, it will be a massive blow for Liverpool, who have also been keenly linked with the signing of the FIFA Confederations Cup winner. I firmly believe that, if it comes to it, Arsenal have a better chance than Liverpool of signing the player. The Gunners may not be doing well this season (and Liverpool are not doing better it must be said) but are still a far more attractive prospect than Liverpool. Case in point is the Sánchez transfer saga of three years ago.
Should Leon Goretzka sign for the Gunners, it will be really interesting to see if Wenger will play him in the Özil role or the position currently occupied by Ramsey. In my opinion, he will be better in the Ramsey role but he can and has played both roles successfully, both for Germany and Schalke 04.