Saudi Arabia in ‘shock’ transfer move for Arsenal and Man Utd pair
Man Utd midfielder Juan Mata and Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil have been the subject of lucrative offers from Saudi Arabia, according to a report.
Mata is likely to be a bit-part player this campaign, with his only two appearances so far coming in the EFL Cup, as the Red Devils signed Donny van de Beek in the summer to strengthen their midfield.
The Spaniard was limited to eight starts in the Premier League last season for Man Utd and now Saudi Arabia are willing to pay him a yearly salary of $15m (£11.5m) to take him there.
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Speaking to the Transfer Window Podcast football consultant Ian McGarry said: “We will start at Old Trafford with a shock move for fan favourite Juan Mata, who has been offered a very, very lucrative deal to move from Manchester to Saudi Arabia.
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“It’s our offer that Mata has an offer worth around $15million net per year to go and play in the Saudi Arabian league.
“It’s not at this moment in time that Manchester United have entered negotiations, we can’t disclose the name of the club at this moment in time.
“But we are certain that the offer is there, his father, who is his agent, is confident that Manchester United would release Mata on freedom of contract after he had his contract extended by the optional year in his current deal over the summer.
“Mata himself is yet to commit; however, at those kind of numbers you would have to think he would be tempted.
“It certainly is the case that Saudi Arabia is desperate to promote itself as a footballing nation as we know, as well as being a place where players can earn an extremely high amount of money and it would be tax free.”
German playmaker Ozil is also likely to find game time hard to come by this summer after not appearing in an Arsenal shirt since March.
Speaking on the same podcast, journalist Duncan Castles added: “I understand that Saudi Arabia’s interest in Premier League players doesn’t end with Juan Mata.
“There has also been a proposal to Mesut Ozil which would go down very well with the hierarchy at Arsenal if they managed to get Ozil off their books.
“They have left him out of their Europa League squad and have been trying to get him to accept a settlement on his contract for some time now unsuccessfully.
“They watched him do a very intelligent and quite amusing public relations move in going on social media to back your favourite Gunnersaurus and guarantee that he would cover Gunnersaurus’ wages for as long as he remained at the club.
“I believe Ozil has turned that move down partly because of his relationships and history with Turkey, who do not have the best of diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia at present.”