Mesut Ozil is reportedly demanding £330k-per-week in wages from Barcelona if they want to sign him in January, but is he really?

Since the beginning of the season, Ozil’s wage demands have been repeatedly spoken about in the press and now Spanish outlet AS claim that he’s demanding £330k-per-week from Barcelona if he signs for them in January.

Once it became clear that, despite insisting he wanted to stay at Arsenal, the playmaker was going to run into the final year of his contract in north London, the media had to find a reason why.

Wages seemed to be the obvious answer as the 29-year-old was rumoured to be asking the Gunners for more and more over the summer.

Ozil and Alexis Sanchez are both said to be on £140k-per-week at the moment, so a pay rise is warranted.

A year ago, the German was said to be demanding £250kpw in order to stay put, which sounded a bit much at the time. However, looking at new signing Alexandre Lacazette’s alleged £200kpw pay packet, £250k doesn’t actually sound that outrageous in hindsight.

(DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

£330k is in a completely different ballpark though.

It would be €19m-a-year before tax. The same as what Barcelona pay Luis Suarez. It would also reportedly put him just below Gareth Bale at Real Madrid but above Hulk in the Chinese Super League.

As much as I love Ozil and want him to stay at Arsenal, he isn’t worth that much, and I imagine he knows it, which makes me doubt the reports.

In October, Ozil’s ‘friend’ denied that the midfielder just wanted money and insisted that his pal was furious at the rumours.

“Mesut has not had any contract offer from Arsenal. There were talks about a modest pay rise last season but all those talks ended in March. There’s been nothing since then,” the unnamed, close friend reportedly told the S*n.

“At the time there was uncertainty over Arsene Wenger’s future so the conversations stopped.

“He has not been offered £300,000 a week — in fact, he has no offers on the table from Arsenal or any other club.

“And he is not seeking to become the highest-paid player in the Premier League. That’s not his aim.

“Mesut is adamant he has never spoken to any player about going to Manchester United.

“He has no idea if United want him but he wants to stay at Arsenal. Look, he just bought a new house in London.

“Mesut had been renting but he decided to buy a house because he both expects and wants to stay.

“But he is angry that people are briefing against him and feels there seems to be some sort of campaign against him. His intention has always been to remain at Arsenal.

“Mesut, though, does feel he is being isolated and kept in the dark. He is worried that there is a game going on and he is left in the middle of it.”

While I desperately want Ozil’s ‘friend’s’ comments to be true and, for the most part, what’s being said about his wages in the press is most likely complete rubbish, I can’t shake the feeling that there’s no smoke without fire and something has changed since pre-season.

What that could be, however, I cannot yet say.