Barcelona & Mesut Ozil
Virtually every day this week, the Spanish press have splashed Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil on the front pages of their paper.
This has continued on Friday, with the Gunners star appearing on the splashes of Sport and Mundo Deportivo.
Of course, it’s a little over a month until the January transfer window opens.
Both Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez are out of contract in the summer. Both players can start talking to foreign clubs about a move from the new year.
In that context, stories linking Ozil with a move to Barcelona have been on the rise in recent days.
But have the Spanish press started to backtrack on their Ozil claims?
Arsenal star put ‘on ice’
According to Friday’s Sport, Barcelona have put the Ozil deal “on ice”.
That’s apparently for two reasons. First, financial concerns, and secondly concerns about Ozil’s lifestyle.
On the first issue, Sport remind their readers that Ozil is 29, before delving into the German’s financial demands.
Echoing reports in Thursday’s Mundo Deportivo, Sport say Ozil wants an annual salary of 19 million euros at the Camp Nou.
That’s on top of the 20 million euros Barcelona would need to pay Arsenal in January to sign the World Cup winner.
Sport also claim that some of Ozil’s off-field behaviour has displeased Barca manager Ernesto Valverde.
Conveniently, however, Sport failed to tease out exactly what Ozil is supposed to be doing wrong in his personal life.
What about Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho?
Barcelona have also been hot on the trail of Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho for months.
Liverpool fans will be aware that if the Ozil stories start to fade away, it’s highly likely that the Spanish press will again focus on Liverpool’s Brazilian as a possible Barca buy.
Indeed, Coutinho is the focus for Mundo Deportivo on Friday, as they report that the Liverpool star is still Barca’s preferred signing ahead of Ozil.