Atletico Madrid identify German playmaker to replace Saul Niguez

Atletico Madrid are reportedly planning a surprise attempt to pursue Arsenal contract rebel Mesut Ozil at the end of the season. The Germany international has declined to prolong his stay with the north London giants, who have been reluctant to match his hefty wage demands of £330,000-a-week.

According to The Sun, Diego Simeone’s side are planning to make a contract offer worth £200,000-a-week for Ozil on top of a significant signing-on fee when his Gunners contract expires next summer. The report adds that Ozil is seen as a potential replacement for Saul Niguez, who the club feel could push for a move to Manchester United in the same transfer window.

Both Ozil and Niguez have featured in different positions over the course of their respective careers, but the former has shown the versatility to play in a deeper midfield role as evidenced during Germany’s goalless versus England in an international friendly last week.

Ozil’s signing will go far from appeasing the Atleti faithful, should Niguez make way, but he nevertheless capable of producing moments of magic which have been rare in the Gunners colours when compared to his performances for Germany under Joachim Loew.

The attacker previously plyed his trade for Real Madrid between 2010 and 2013, where he made a name for himself as an assist king, and a return to the Spanish capital could be something he could favour, having received constant criticism over his performances from the English media.

Despite this, Ozil has been a good success with Arsene Wenger’s side contributing 33 goals and 44 assists across all competitions, while helping them end their trophy drought with three FA Cup crowns in his last four seasons at the club.

Both Ozil and Alexis Sanchez will be entering the final six months of their respective contracts in the New Year and Arsenal could yet sanction their sales rather than losing them for nothing at the end of the campaign.

Image – Getty

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