Ozil is thought to be available after Real Madrid splashed out £86m on Gareth Bale.
Although considered to be one of the finest midfielders in the world, Ozil is likely to find his first team opportunities restricted and Madrid are willing to cash in.
Arsenal were thought to be favourites to sign the German international after agreeing a club record fee of £42.5m with Real Madrid.
Ozil's transfer to north London was thought to be in an advanced stage but Manchester United have now thrown their hat in to the ring.
Sky Sports is now reporting that Manchester United have made contract with Ozil's representatives about a move and are keen to bring the midfielder to Old Trafford.
David Moyes is thought to be prioritising a move for Everton duo Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines but remains keen on Madrid's 24-year-old playmaker.
The need for a creative midfielder has been a source of frustration for United fans after the failure to replace Paul Scholes was highlighted in yesterday's defeat to Liverpool.
Manchester United struggled to create chances for the their talented forward line and the lack of vision in the middle of the park was citied as a reason.
The news will be a big blow to Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who is keen to appease fans with a big deadline day signing.
Arsenal's lack of transfer activity has drawn criticism from the media but the reported £42.5m bid shows that Wenger means business.