Jose Mourinho wants Mesut Ozil at Manchester United because a deal would offer “a poke in the eye” to old adversary Arsene Wenger, says Martin Keown.
The Portuguese has rarely seen eye-to-eye with his Arsenal counterpart throughout his various spells in the Premier League.
A feud which first ignited during an initial stint at Chelsea carried over into a second spell at Stamford Bridge and now at Old Trafford.
But while the pair have regularly engaged in tactical battles on the touchline, and the occasional war of words, Mourinho is now seeking to hit his rival where it hurts in the transfer market with a mooted approach for a World Cup-winning playmaker.
Offering his take as to why United are reported to be keen on landing Ozil as his Arsenal contract runs down, former Gunners defender Keown told the Daily Mail: “I think Jose Mourinho would love for that move to happen, for two reasons.
“One, because of the quality of the player, and two because it would be a poke in the eye for Arsene Wenger
“That rivalry between the two managers has not gone away.”
Ozil, like team-mate Alexis Sanchez, is yet to agree an extension to a deal at Arsenal which is due to expire in the summer of 2018.
If no agreement can be reached, then the Germany international will continue to head towards the free agent pool.
Alternatively, the Gunners may be tempted to sell in January if a suitable offer is tabled for an asset that is only going to decrease in monetary value.
United have been linked with an approach for some time, but La Liga giants Barcelona are also said to be keen – with Ozil having impressed once before in Spanish football during a productive spell with Real Madrid.