Arsenal transfer news: Mesut Ozil and Man Utd’s Eric Bailly to swap clubs?

Following Sanchez-Mkhitaryan deals in January, Arsenal and United may play swapsies again in new year

Mesut Ozil Arsenal transfer news Fenerbahce
German playmaker Mesut Ozil signed for Arsenal from Real Madrid in 2013
(Image credit: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Arsenal and Manchester United look set to play swapsies in January - 12 months after the clubs last exchanged players.

This year it was Alexis Sanchez heading to Old Trafford, and Henrikh Mkhitaryan travelling in the opposite direction. Next time around it could be Eric Bailly packing his bags for the Emirates, and Mesut Ozil going north, according to the Manchester Evening News (MEN).

Ivorian ace Bailly has been linked to both Arsenal and Tottenham in recent days, but the newspaper reports that he may be joining the Gunners - where Ozil is “on the radar of Jose Mourinho”. The United manager will apparently “pressure Ed Woodward to make an approach should Ozil become available”.

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Cash in while he can

The German playmaker has been mooted as a Mourinho target for several weeks, with the pair having worked together at Real Madrid, and the United gaffer is monitoring Ozil’s situation at the Emirates.

Although he scored at the weekend for Arsenal in the 2-1 win at Newcastle, Ozil has yet to win over new boss Unai Emery and if their relationship doesn’t improve between now and the new year, he could be on his way out.

As for Bailly, the MEN claims that Mourinho wants to “cash in on the centre-back”, and he could be the sort of defender that would add some steel to Arsenal’s notoriously chaotic back four.

Pepe talk

Meanwhile, reports on another Ivorian - and again, it’s Arsenal and United involved. Lille striker Nicolas Pepe has been making a name for himself in France, and the two Premier League powerhouses are reportedly on the Ivory Coast striker’s tail.

The French press reports that United have sent scouts across the Channel to watch Pepe in action, ahead of a possible bid in January, while Arsenal are said to have “made contact with Lille over a potential deal”.