According to reports in the Metro, Manchester City chief Manuel Pellegrini wants the club to pursue Arsenal superstar playmaker Mesut Ozil as the club prepare for life after Yaya Toure.
The talismanic midfielder is reportedly unsettled at the Etihad and has churned out a string of underwhelming performances since returning from the World Cup.
Metro say Toure is ‘looking likely to leave’ in the new year and, as a contingency, the Citizens are preparing a £32m bid for Gunners record signing Ozil.
Under no pressure to sell, it’s incredibly difficult to envisage Arsene Wenger accepting an offer £10m short of the £42.5m he paid Real Madrid for the German’s services just over a year ago, especially from a direct competitor.
But even if they were to strike a deal, Man City would be better served looking elsewhere, for their insistence on signing Arsenal players is bound to achieve only one thing – perennial fourth-place finishes.
The Citizens are 12/5 to win the Premier League title as it stands, but the seemingly incessant flow of ex-Gunners arriving through their door is sure to hamper their aspirations for world domination eventually.
Three former Emirates favourites in Bacary Sagna, Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy are currently plying their trade with the English champions, while Toure was famously bounced from an Arsenal trial.
His brother Kolo and Emmanuel Adebayor also made the trip from north London to Manchester but have since departed.
While their trophy aversions and top-of-the-league-induced nosebleeds are yet to start, swapping swashbuckling midfielder Toure for lackadaisical Ozil would have the biggest detrimental impact on their fortunes of all their Arsenal recruits.
The bustling Ivorian’s charges through defences are rhinoceros-like in their impossibility to halt and the carnage they create.
In this respect, Toure is a unique asset, which certainly cannot be said of Ozil.
For all his panache in possession, he’s a very similar player to Nasri and David Silva, in the sense that he’ll look to knit attacks with deft touches and through balls.
City have two of the best in the business in this respect and don’t need to risk any further financial fair play wrath in shelling out for another.
Despite this, the champions remain 7/5 to sign an Arsenal player by September 1 2015, while it’s 1/2 that they abstain.