Bayern Munich are lining up a shock bid for Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil, who has struggled at the Emirates Stadium since completing his £42.4 million transfer from Real Madrid last summer.
This is according to the London Evening Standard, who understand that Bayern boss Pep Guardiola will make a formal offer for the Germany international when the transfer window re-opens in January.
Guardiola a fan of Ozil
Guardiola is convinced that Ozil, 25, has plenty to offer despite his below-par performances for the Gunners.
The World Cup winner has been heavily criticised at various points during his time at Arsenal and has only managed to show glimpses of his class.
Ozil, during his three years at Real Madrid, cemented his reputation as one of the world’s best playmakers but opted to leave the Bernabeu following the £86 million arrival of Gareth Bale.
He scored seven goals in 40 appearances in his first season with Arsenal, but left fans frustrated with disappointing performances in crucial games.
Ozil's position - Wenger's dilemma
Ozil has often been deployed out wide by Arsene Wenger, and many Gunners’ fans believe this is the reason why he has struggled since joining the north London outfit.
Wenger played Ozil in his favoured No. 10 role against Aston Villa last weekend, and the German responded by scoring his first goals of the 2014/15 campaign and contributing an assist.
However, Wenger is faced with the headache of fitting a host of quality attacking players into the same system.
The arrival of Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona has complicated things for the veteran French coach - and his dilemma will only intensify over the coming weeks, when Theo Walcott finally returns from his lengthy injury lay-off.
Wenger also needs to find a starting place for Jack Wilshere, who has enjoyed a fine start to the new season, and Aaron Ramsey, who was arguably Arsenal’s best player last term.
Wenger could consider sale
Unless Wenger can guarantee Ozil a starting position behind the central striker, a January move to Bayern Munich could appeal to the technically-gifted attacking midfielder.
However, Bayern already possess a formidable starting eleven and Ozil may struggle to cement a regular first-team place at the Allianz Arena unless he hits the ground running.
Ozil is the highest-paid player at the Emirates Stadium, earning a reported £180,000-a-week.
Wenger remains confident that Ozil will produce his best form in an Arsenal shirt - but he could decide to cash in on the former Schalke and Werder Bremen playmaker if his performances fail to improve between now and January.