Barry Glendenning on 21 December 2018
An undeniably good player he may be, but Mesut Özil currently appears to have acquired the status of square peg at Arsenal, where he is apparently unable to fit in any of the round holes on Unai Emery’s tactics board. Having sat out his team’s midweek Carabao Cup defeat at the hands of Tottenham on the bench, The Times say Arsenal may send their playmaker out on loan in January, following reports he has fallen out with his manager. Arsenal would be willing to sell Özil, but will struggle to find another club willing to match his £350,000-per-week salary. Inter are understood to be willing to take him on loan in January, but whether or not Arsenal will subsidise his wages remains to be seen.
Crystal Palace full-back Patrick van Aanholt could be about to leave Croydon for the comparatively glamorous environs of Rome, having caught the eye of Roma manager Eusebio Di Francesco and his director of football, Monchi. Tabloid reports this morning suggest the 28-year-old Dutchman could be sold for £25m in the new year. Juventus had previously enquired about taking the Dutchman to Italy, but their interest has cooled since Alex Sandro signed a new contract. Elsewhere in Italy, Napoli are ready to make the loan deal of Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina permanent for a little over £3m, following a string of impressive performances by the Colombian.
Speculation about Eden Hazard’s apparently inevitable move to Real Madrid rumbles on and on and in the latest thrilling instalment, the Belgian is being linked with a potential swap deal with Isco, who has plummeted out of favour at the Bernabeú.
Spanish sports daily Marca say Real Madrid are not interested in a reunion with their former manager José Mourinho, who you may have heard lost his job with Manchester United on Tuesday. According to the Mirror, the United hierarchy were forced to end Mourinho’s reign at the club when four members of the senior squad threatened to hand in Christmas transfer requests if he wasn’t binned off.
And finally, the Football Association is looking into Fulham’s purchase of Jean Michael Seri and Maxime Le Marchand for a combined fee of over £20m from Nice in the summer, amid claims of alleged financial shenanigans surrounding the deal. According to the Daily Mail, Jean-Louis Dupont, the lawyer behind the Bosman ruling, has written to the FA’s senior investigator, David Matthews, demanding an inquiry into a transfer he says was manipulated to save on bonus payments due to Seri and his former clubs.