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Barcelona are believed to be in pole position to secure the services of Germany and Werder Bremen midfielder Mesut Oezil.

The 21-year-old's popularity was on the rise following his performances in the European Under-21 Championship, but his showings in the 2010 World Cup have catapulted his status to becoming one of the rising stars of world football.

Now The Daily Star reports that Arsenal have already indicated their interest in signing the young midfielder, but the Catalan club are now thought to be leading in the race - as they are willing to offer £18 million and allow the player to remain on loan for another season with Werder before moving to Spain.

Barcelona have also been reported to be in line with making a £25m bid to sign Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano.

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