If anyone between Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil appeared more likely to stay at Arsenal, it was certainly Ozil.
Sanchez was close to sealing a summer switch to Manchester City. Ozil, on the other hand, wasn’t as strongly linked with a move from the Emirates Stadium.
And just last week, Arsene Wenger said he “genuinely thinks” the German playmaker wants to sign a new contract at the Gunners.
"I cannot tell you what is in his mind,” Wenger said, per Sky Sports.
“I genuinely think he wants to stay. But I am always positive about that.”
Yet that idea appeared misguided when, last night, the Mirror claimed Ozil has told his Arsenal teammates that he wants to sign for Manchester United.
“Ozil, 29, is ready to make the bombshell switch, and is confident that he will move to Old Trafford,” the Mirror’s John Cross wrote.
The move would reunite Ozil with Jose Mourinho, whom he worked under at Real Madrid.
The pair’s relationship wasn’t always plain sailing, with Mourinho once calling the World Cup winner a “coward” during a heated row, but the Portuguese coach always recognised Ozil’s talent.
What Mourinho said after Ozil joined Arsenal
After Ozil moved to Arsenal in 2013, Mourinho, who had already returned for a second spell with Chelsea, called him the “best number 10 in the world”.
“Ozil is unique,” Mourinho said, per Marca. “There is no copy of him - not even a bad one. He is the best number 10 in the world.
"He made things very easy for me and for his teammates with his football vision and the decisions he made.
“Everyone loves him and sees a bit of Luis Figo and Zinedine Zidane in him.
“We didn’t accept Arsenal’s offer for Demba Ba because the signing of Ozil makes them title contenders.”
Ozil could be available for free
High praise indeed. It’s hardly surprising Mourinho is interested considering Ozil will be available for a reduced fee in January or for free next summer.
The 54-year-old will just have to cope with his plethora of attacking options when the problem arises; Ozil will compete for a spot with Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Juan Mata should he arrive at Old Trafford.
As for Arsenal, well, it’ll be tough to recover from losing Ozil and Sanchez.