Manchester United: Jose Mourinho Identifies Arsenal Star as January Target—And He Won't Cost a Penny

Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho at St Mary's Stadium, Southampton, England, September 23. Clive Rose/Getty

Jose Mourinho is planning to make a move for Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil in January which would see him move to Old Trafford for free in the summer, according to reports.

The Manchester United manager worked with Ozil at Real Madrid from 2010 through 2013, and is highly confident about convincing him to join him in the north west of England, The Independent says.

Ozil, who joined Arsenal in 2013 for a then club record fee, is free to speak to any club in January as his contract at the Emirates Stadium will expire in the summer.

Arsenal's attempts to negotiate a new deal with the 28-year-old German have been unsuccessful, and could lose both him and Alexis Sanchez to Manchester at the start of 2018.

Sanchez's contract in north London also finishes next summer and Arsenal looks certain to lose him for nothing, despite Manchester City's deadline day offer of £60 million (about $79 million).

Related: Why Jose Mourinho was furious with one of his players but had to forgive him

Reports in the summer suggested City forward Raheem Sterling had been part of the deal proposed to Arsenal, as a cash-plus-player offer.

But now Arsene Wenger looks in danger of losing two key players for free.

It would not be the first time the French manager saw his best players move to Manchester. In 2012, Arsenal sold Dutch striker Robin van Persie to United for £24 million, and he went on to win the Premier League title and the Golden Boot in his first year at Old Trafford.

Manchester United, meanwhile, is joint top of the Premier League table with neighbour City heading into the international break. Mourinho's team has scored an average of three goals a game in the first seven fixtures, conceding just twice.

Arsenal has begun to recover from a poor start to the season with back-to-back victories against West Brom and Brighton and Hove Albion.