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Manchester United are reportedly ready to sacrifice their midfielder Juan Mata to make room for the possible arrival of Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil, who currently earns $10m-a-year. The Red Devils have been among a number of clubs linked with the Germany international in recent months, as he, like Mata, heads towards the end of his current contract.

The Daily Mirror reported earlier Ozil had decided to join Jose Mourinho’s United in the summer and had also informed his teammates, though the speculation has somewhat cooled down recently. Mourinho has publicly admitted that he regards Ozil as the best No.10 in the world.

The pair had a strong relationship since working together at Real Madrid, and there remains a deep respect despite Ozil’s varied fortunes since his 2013 move to North London.

The Mirror now report that Mata is a transfer target for Inter Milan as the Spaniard looks increasingly unlikely to extend his contract with United, partly owing to the club’s interest in Ozil. Mata’s current contract expires at the end of the season but the Red Devils have an option to extend his deal by an extra 12 months.

The 29-year-old will want to be convinced about having a future at Old Trafford before committing himself to a new deal. But Inter are now watching Mata’s situation closely and will be ready to move for him should the ex-Chelsea playmaker be allowed to leave at the end of the season for free.

Mesut Ozil

Despite selling Mata from Chelsea to United back in 2014, Mourinho has used the Spaniard regularly here at Old Trafford but the player, to be very honest, hasn’t had the desired impact when used this season.

The Spanish international has started 15 league games for the Red Devils this season, scoring 3 goals. Yet, he remains an immensely popular figure among the United supporters and there are chances of many fans getting disappointed if he is shown the exit door by Mourinho.

However, there are reports that the Portuguese manager will make a move for Ozil to bolster his attack line in summer. Should United strike a deal for Ozil, it is plausible Mourinho would let Mata, as well as Henrikh Mkhitaryan, leave the club. The Armenian is another star who Inter are interested in signing as he continues to fight for his Old Trafford future.