Manchester United plan to try to sign Mesut Özil on a free at the end of the season, according to reports.

The report first surfaced in the Independent on Tuesday morning, and originally suggested that United would make a move to sign him on a free in January:

Independent Özil Article
Image courtesy of the Independent

However, many on social media pointed out that this is impossible without breaching Premier League rules. Mesut being in the final year of his contract means that foreign clubs can indeed speak to him about a move on a free in January. But United (and any other English club) have to wait until after the end of the first week of May.

The Independent swiftly backtracked, and edited the text to state that United will make a move for Özil when his contract ends at the conclusion of the campaign:

Independent Özil article updated
Image courtesy of the Independent

Manchester United will have to wait until the start of the summer window to make an offer to Özil for a free transfer, and hope that no foreign club or Arsenal manage to convince him.

Alternatively they can bid for the German in January, but they’ll have to go through the Gunners directly.

The third option is illegal tapping him up, making an offer to Mesut anyway and telling him not to accept other offers so he can move to Manchester in the summer.

It appears the Independent are now only suggesting the first option, as opposed to the third. I think it’s perfectly possible that Mourinho would want to pick up someone of Özil’s quality on a free this summer.

Until then I think the Gunners have plenty of more pressing concerns when it comes to Mesut.