Manchester United: Jose Mourinho's Top January Target Likely to Choose Inter Milan Instead

Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho at WEB Arena, Moscow, Russia, September 27. Dan Mullan/Getty

Manchester United is set to miss out on would-be free agent Mesut Ozil as the Arsenal man looks most likely to join Inter Milan, according to reports.

Ozil's contract at the Emirates Stadium runs out at the end of the season, meaning he is free to come to a pre-contract agreement with any club he wishes in January.

On Tuesday, The Independent reported that Jose Mourinho was keen on a reunion with Ozil at Old Trafford, a move that would be devastating for Arsenal and Arsene Wenger–and one they could do little about.

But on Wednesday the London Evening Standard suggested that the German playmaker's most likely destination is Italy, joining Inter Milan.

Arsenal, the report says, is still in negotiations with Ozil but is not likely to meet his demands of £350,000-a-week. The club is offering him an increase of £110,000, from £140,000-a-week to £250,000-a-week. But Ozil is showing no signs of committing his future to north London.

Related: Jose Mourinho identifies Arsenal star as January target–and he won't cost a penny

Last summer, Serie A giant Inter Milan was taken over by Chinese investors Suning Commerce Group, which is expected to lead to considerable investment in the coming years.

It would, however, be a coup for Mourinho to convince the 28-year-old to join him at Old Trafford. The Manchester United manager worked with Ozil at Real Madrid from 2010 through 2013, both leaving at the same time for London.

Mourinho returned to Stamford Bridge to become the Chelsea manager, where he took the club to the Premier League title in 2015. Ozil became Arsenal's most expensive signing at the time.

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).