Deadline day: Arsenal 'close' to signing Real Madrid's Mesut Ozil
Sky Sports News understands that Arsenal are in 'advanced talks' with Real Madrid to sign midfielder Mesut Ozil.
Last Updated: 02/09/13 10:09am
The 24-year-old German has been at the Bernabeu since 2010 having moved from Werder Bremen.
And Ozil could be heading to the Emirates Stadium after Gareth Bale left Tottenham for the Spanish capital for a reported world record fee of £85.3m.
Ozil has played more than 100 games for Real who beat off competition from Arsenal and Manchester United to sign their man following the World Cup in South Africa.
But now the Gunners are close to securing the player they wanted three years ago in a deal reportedly worth £42.5m.
Manchester United and Paris Saint Germain have also been strongly linked with Ozil in recent days.
Arsenal's only purchases so far have been the free transfers of Yaya Sanogo and Mathieu Flamini.
However, after making unsuccessful bids for Gonzalo Higuain, Luis Suarez and Yohan Cabaye earlier this summer, boss Arsene Wenger believes the 100million euro (£86.3m) switch of Bale to Madrid could now set in place a "domino" effect which would allow the likes of 24-year-old German international Ozil to come onto the market at the 11th hour.
Arsenal have also been linked with his Real Madrid team-mates Karim Benzema and Angel di Maria and Palermo goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano.
Following the 1-0 derby win over Tottenham, secured by a first-half goal from France striker Olivier Giroud, Wenger again addressed the issue of getting in extra bodies - a problem highlighted by the inclusion of youngsters Serge Gnabry and Gedion Zelalem, only 16, on the bench.
"Tottenham got a lot of money for Bale, they have to invest it - I understand that," Wenger said. "The need is different for us, we need one or two super players and we will try to add that.
"It is a little bit like a domino game. Maybe something will happen in the last 24 hours, maybe not. It is very difficult to predict, but maybe we can surprise you."
Arsenal may be sitting on a £70m warchest, but Wenger insists the club will not be held to ransom as the last-gasp shopping dash begins.
"I am not against spending. I am ready to pay what we can afford, even if it is a bit over the market (value) and as long as it is not crazy," he said.