Barcelona’s desperation to get in a world class midfielder this summer has reached its peak and could well be compared to Newcastle United’s maddening links with almost every winger on this planet. This transfer season has been quite surprising for many reasons and a primary of them has been big clubs not able to lure in the players they want.
Of course, the inflated market has played a huge role in it where every player, no matter how unproven a prospect he remains, has been priced at skyrocketing amounts. And even the giants, whether it is Real Madrid chasing Kylian Mbappe or Barcelona chasing Phillipe Coutinho, would think twice before splurging that amount. Barcelona have mostly relied on their academy products over the course of their history and their reservations towards spending crazily makes a lot of sense.
Hence, after repeated failed bids for Liverpool’s superstar Coutinho, who is now priced well over £100 million according to their manager and the club, the Catalans have now turned their attention to Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil. Despite coming dangerously close to sealing the La Liga title and winning the Copa del Rey, Barcelona’s terrible European campaign seems to have taken away much of their lure already.
After Paris Saint Germain midfielder Marco Verratti’s move didn’t materialize, Liverpool now looks likely to waive them off. A move for Ozil now looks quite panicky, given the German international is already in the last year of his contract and could be gotten for almost free next season. To top that, the 28-year-old hasn’t been at his best for quite some time with many questioning his demand for a pay hike.
The playmaker has quality without a doubt but Arsene Wenger has only found it in flashes last season. Compared to his phenomenal 19 assists in the 2015-16 season, the number 10 has managed just ten assists last season. Though his percentage of chance creation hasn’t dropped and Arsenal’s lack of firepower has also been blamed for it, the truth is that the former Real Madrid star has seen a huge slump in form.
According to reports, Barcelona are willing to offer £53 million for Ozil, which would definitely be a good bargain for Arsenal who had splurged a club record £42.5 million to land him from Santiago Bernabeu in 2013. And while it is difficult to predict if he would be equally impactful as Coutinho in La Liga, his previous figures of 27 goals and 81 assists in 159 La Liga games looks positive.
While it will be a gamble on Barcelona’s part, getting him at just above £50 million looks quite a successful deal in this market.
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