Arsenal could sell Ozil to Man City for £30m to buy Higuain
Pellegrini apparently sees Arsenal misfit Ozil as a replacement for Yaya Toure at the Etihad
As Arsenal's medical staff brace themselves for a fresh batch of casualties tonight in Anderlecht, Arsene Wenger is "set to reignite" his interest in Gonazalo Higuain.
According to the Daily Star the Argentina hitman has become frustrated with life in Napoli after their failure to qualify for the Champions League and he "would consider a January move" to pastures new. Taking Spanish reports as their source, the Star says that that the Arsenal gaffer is considering launching a new-year grab for Higuain, a player he has long coveted. Higuain joined Napoli in the summer of 2013 in a £35m deal from Real Madrid but has failed to fire in the Serie A. The Star claims that Napoli could be open to offers in a few months' time but that Arsenal would have "to pay a similar fee" to bring him to the Emirates.
But finding the money might not be such a problem for Arsenal, at least not if Metro is to be believed. They claim that Manchester City are lining up a £32m bid for Mesut Ozil in January with manager Manuel Pellegrini viewing the German midfielder as the ideal replacement for Yaya Toure.
Quite why the Sky Blues boss would want to cast Ozil as a rampaging midfield general given that he's hardly set Arsenal alight in the 14 months since his arrival. On the other hand Ozil's legendary lack of energy means he's not going to erupt in fury were City to forget his birthday.
Toure's anniversary strop is just one reason why the Ivory Coast is allegedly angling for a move away from the Etihad, and Metro claims that Pellegrini has "personally asked the club to sign Ozil in the new year". Rumours emanating from north London in recent weeks suggest that if City do table a bid in excess of £30m they could well let Ozil go, even though they paid Real Madrid £42.5m in August 2013.
Elsewhere and the Daily Express says that Arsenal and Chelsea have suffered a "major blow" in their bid to sign Barcelona starlet Munir el Haddadi. It may not be quite a case of hell freezing over before the two Premier League clubs are in with a shout of landing the 19-year-old frontman, but the Express says the chase has gone as cold as a chat between Wenger to Mourinho. Apparently El Haddadi – capped recently by Spain - will "opt to remain" at the Nou Camp for the foreseeable future after being assured by coach Luis Enrique that he will get regular game time in the seasons ahead.
Finally, Italy's Tutto Mercato reports that teenage sensation Martin Odegaard – refreshingly not described as a 'starlet' or 'whizzkid' – is close to deciding which club to choose from his many suitors. The 15-year-old Norwegian nugget has been chatted up in recent months by Manchester United and Liverpool as well as Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus and Bayern Munich. But in an interview with Tutto Mercato, Odegaard explained: "I will visit some of the major European clubs at the end of the [Norwegian] season... because I want to be sure about the choice for my future. I need to see and hear and feel the environment [of any new club]."
Pressed on whether he had any preference, Odegaard declared: "I will only leave for a big club."