Manchester United have been linked with some of Europe’s leading attacking midfielders in surprising transfer speculation over recent days. While United’s midfield could well need strengthening, the problems for Sir Alex Ferguson have been in deep midfield positions whereas going forward the club already has the likes of Shinji Kagawa and Wayne Rooney to provide an-all important link with the attack.
Yet, according to the Sun, United have reignited their interest in Real Madrid’s Mesut Ozil on the back of rumors that the Germany international may be unhappy at the Bernabeu. Ozil has found his place under threat this season following the arrival of Luka Modric.
The Sun claims that Ferguson has asked to be kept abreast of the situation with a view for launching a bid for the 24-year-old.
Ozil arrived at Real Madrid from Werder Bremen in the summer of 2010 after he had previously been linked with a move to Old Trafford.
Another of Germany’s stars is also claimed to be on Ferguson’s wish list. The Daily Mail reports that United, along with rivals Arsenal, have learned about a £30 million release clause in the contract of Borussia Dortmund’s Mario Gotze. The clause reportedly expires next July, while a written offer would need to be submitted by April.
Gotze, 20, has long been seen as one of the Europe’s brightest midfield prospects and appeared to end speculation over his future when he signed a long-term contract earlier this year.
His ability to also play from the right or left as well as centrally may appeal to Ferguson, although an offer of £30 million appears unlikely at this stage.
According to speculation, Manchester United could also be frustrated in their attempts to sign two more attacking midfielders. The form of Malaga’s Isco this season, particularly in the Champions League, is thought to have alerted the interest of several of Europe’s big clubs, including United, Arsenal and Manchester City.
However, Malaga have come out to state that they expect the 20-year-old to remain at the club.
“Talks for renewal [of his contract] are still on track,” said Malaga sporting director Mario Husillos.
"The boy wants to stay at the club because it is clear that this is best for his development. Isco is intelligent and young and hasn't played that many La Liga matches."
In recent days there has also been a renewal of rumors linking United with a move for Inter Milan’s Wesley Sneijder. The Netherlands international was close to a move to Old Trafford back in the summer of 2011, but the finances of the deal were believed to be acceptable to United.
It is a similar situation this time around, according to Metro, with Inter unwilling to lower their £20 million valuation. United are reportedly only prepared to offer up to £15 million for the 28-year-old.
The news comes as Ferguson is reportedly ready to tie midfielder Tom Cleverley down to a new five-year contract, according to Goal.com.