Arsenal have accepted Mesut Ozil will leave the club next year and now prefer him to join Barcelona ahead of Manchester United, say reports in Spain.
The 29-year-old’s contract at The Emirates expires in June and the Gunners are willing to allow him to leave for free in summer or potentially cash-in for a cut-price deal in January.
A report in Diario AS states Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger much prefers the Germany international to join the Catalan giants ahead of United, who are favourites for his signature, or any domestic rival.
The playmaker would be clear to play in the Champions League if he does move in January and this is thought to be tempting clubs into a January signing.
Ozil played for Real Madrid under Jose Mourinho and the two are said to remain close, although the rivalry between Madrid and Barca is not thought to be an obstacle into a potential move to the Camp Nou.
He is reportedly demanding a gross annual wage of €19m and that may be the greatest deterrent in any move to the Blaugrana.