Barcelona considered shock move for Mesut Ozil

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Barcelona considered making a shock move for Arsenal playmaker - and former Real Madrid star - Mesut Ozil before it became clear that Liverpool were willing to sell controversial striker Luis Suarez.

This report comes courtesy of Spanish newspaper Sport, who claim that Barcelona head coach Luis Enrique abandoned his plans to sign the Germany international following Suarez's now infamous bite on Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini earlier this month.

Ozil: Tough debut season in England

Although Arsenal spent a club-record £42.5 million fee to bring Ozil to the Emirates Stadium last summer, Barcelona were tempted to enquire about the player's services following a difficult debut season in the Premier League.

The 25-year-old often flattered to deceive and ended the campaign with a disappointing seven goals in 40 appearances. His displays in the second half season, in particular, attracted widespread criticism.

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Barcelona: Why Ozil?

Ozil flourished in La Liga during his three seasons with Real Madrid - and, despite his past connections with Los Blancos, fierce rivals Barcelona acknowledged his undoubted qualities and believed he possessed the required attributes to flourish at the Camp Nou.

The attacking midfielder is an excellent passer with fantastic vision, and is intelligent in possession. It's rare to witness Ozil give the ball away cheaply - and for Barcelona, a club who pride themselves on retaining possession, this is a crucial quality not always found in top-level talent.

Would Arsenal sell?

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is a big fan of Ozil and is not expected to sell the playmaker despite a troublesome start to his Gunners' career.

The fact is, Arsenal won their first trophy for nine years in Ozil's debut season at the Emirates Stadium, and the playmaker showed glimpses of his class with the north London outfit. Even if Wenger did decide to sell, he would expect a transfer fee in excess of the £42.5 million he told Arsenal to shell out last August.

Barcelona turn attention to Suarez

Fitting Lionel Messi, Neymar and Suarez into the same starting line-up and fielding a balanced side may look an impossible task, but Enrique appears willing to give it a try. Suarez, who finished as last season's Premier League top scorer with 31 goals, is now widely regarded as one of the best forwards in world football.

While the acquisition of Suarez would be controversial, that transfer would probably still go down better with the Barcelona faithful than a move for ex-Real Madrid star Ozil, an enemy of the Camp Nou during one of the tensest periods in the history of the Clasico rivalry, when Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola were battling it out for La Liga supremacy several times a season.

Would Arsenal have sold Ozil to Barcelona this summer? Have your say in the comments section below.

Meanwhile, take a look at the video below to see some of Ozil's best moments…

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