At some unspecified point in the last year, the identities of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil shifted from “Arsenal stars” to “Arsenal contract rebels”, and it appears they will never shift back. It’s been very annoying for Gunners fans, but one wonders whether the players themselves might quite enjoy their new status.
After all, rebels are cool. James Dean, Che Guevara, Phil Mitchell… they get the fame, they get the girls and – in Alexis and Mesut’s case – they get linked on a daily basis with the world’s top football clubs.
Today’s Mirror – via German tabloid rag Bild – says Ozil is about to enter “talks” with his old pal Jose Mourinho about a move to Manchester United.
Jose once described the ex-Real Madrid playmaker as “the best no. 10 in the world”. He hasn’t quite justified that tag in the Premier League, but that’s Arsenal’s fault for giving him the No. 11 shirt. Fools.
As for Alexis, he is being linked with an even more exotic destination – Real Madrid. The Star – which likewise stole its news from abroad, in this case the ever-accommodating Don Balon – says the Chilean is on a “striker shortlist” drawn up by Real president Florentino Perez.
Sanchez is said be keen on the “dream move” to the Bernabeu, although he faces competition on Perez’s shortlist from Timo Werner, Andrea Belotti, Robert Lewandowski and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. But that won’t phase a man who saw off the challenge of Joel Campbell and Yaya Sanogo in the Arsenal attack.
Meanwhile, Diego Costa was apparently due to arrive back in London yesterday on Latam Airlines flight JJ8084 from Sao Paulo, but Spanish paper Marca says the ticket was “unused”. What a disgraceful waste of money (we mean the ticket, not Costa – obviously).
Diego’s fellow South American hothead (he’s Brazilian, not Spanish – deal with it) Mauro Icardi is in line for a bumper new contract at Internazionale because they think his existing £100m release clause is “too low” (Talksport). Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal have all been linked with the Argentine striker.
Elsewhere, Arsenal and Leicester failed with deadline day bids for German international defender Benedikt Howedes (Express), Tottenham, Everton and Burnley are interested in Werder Bremen’s Thomas Delaney, a Danish midfielder with an Irishman’s name (Talksport) and Andres Iniesta is set to snub Juventus and sign a new contract at Barcelona (Goal). Although don’t rule out a late bid from Harry Redknapp at Birmingham City.