Which is worse: being stuck in limbo or being stuck at Arsenal? It’s hard to say for sure but we can all agree that they are both pretty terrible. So spare a thought for Mesut Özil, who has been living that twin hell for some time now. Happily for the Germany midfielder, salvation may be on its way with news that Atlético Madrid are interested in acquiring his talents.
The Spanish club have reportedly contacted Özil over a possible move in the summer, when his contract expires and he can finally rid himself of those long think-pieces focusing on whether or not he’s actually any good. Atlético are thought to be willing to offer Özil a salary of £200,000 a week, alongside a hefty signing-on fee, and should the 29-year-old say “si”, it would bring a return to Madrid following his three-year spell at Real prior to joining Arsenal in September 2013.
One player who could be making a sortofnotreallybutwe’vestartedsowe’llfinish opposite move is Saúl Ñíguez. Manchester United are supposedly keen on signing Atlético’s attacking midfielder as cover for Paul Pogba. The Frenchman has been out of action since mid-September with a hamstring injury and, while bravely refusing to cry about it, José Mourinho has reportedly decided he needs to bring in another body if United are to maintain their twin assault on the Premier League and Champions League. Saúl fits the bill, with Mourinho a long-term admirer of the 22-year-old Spanish tyro.
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Another man who could be on his way to Old Trafford in January is the Argentinian left-back Enzo Diaz. The 21-year-old plays for the second division leaders Agropecuario and has impressed United’s scouts, with the player keen for a deal to happen. “It is the dream of any footballer to play for Manchester United,” Diaz told local hacks. “However, I need to remain focused on what we are doing and enjoying this moment.” Wise words Enzo, wise words.
Elsewhere, Liverpool are keen on re-signing Suso from Milan should Philippe Coutinho join Barcelona in January. Brendan Rodgers fans will remember that Suso played under the Northern Irishman during his time in charge at Anfield and impressed on occasions having come through the club’s academy. However, he was deemed not quite good enough and subsequently sold in 2015. Since then, the Spaniard has shone and could now be heading back – but only if Coutinho jumps ship early and Liverpool are prepared to pay Suso’s buyout clause, which is said to be in the £35m region.
Staying with Liverpool and it appears Danny Ings’s time there is coming to an end. The striker has been linked with a loan move to West Ham in January, having struggled to make an impact on Merseyside due to a combination of terrible injury luck and other strikers being ahead of him in the pecking order. David Moyes was reportedly keen on signing Ings during his time at Real Sociedad and could make the 25-year-old his first acquisition now he has replaced Slaven Bilic.
The bad news for Ings should he decide to join West Ham is that he may not get the chance to play alongside Arthur Masuaku. The left-back, who joined from Olympiacos for £6.2m in August 2016, is wanted by Napoli, Juventus, Milan and Genoa, and is keen on joining at least one of them in the new year, according to the 24-year-old’s agent, Francesco Lingenti. Speaking to CalcioNapoli24.it, he is reported as saying: “Serie A is our objective and hopefully he [Masuaku] will be there in January. However, he’d only go to Juventus if they sold Alex Sandro.”
And finally, Brighton and Southampton are both interested in signing Aleksandar Mitrovic. The Serbia striker is struggling to get a game under Rafael Benítez at Newcastle United and could now be on the verge of moving from one end of the country to another.