LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26: Mesut Ozil of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and West Bromwich Albion at Emirates Stadium on December 26, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsene Wenger Confident Mesut Ozil Won’t be Distracted by Manchester United Rumors

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If you’re browsing a variety of betting websites in an attempt to find the best odds on where Mesut Ozil will be playing next season, you’re likely finding a wide variety of results. The German international has already been linked with a number of clubs, including Barcelona and Manchester United.

Despite the potential move to Manchester next summer, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is confident that Ozil will not be distracted when the two teams do battle in a Premier League tilt this Saturday at the Emirates.

When asked about Ozil’s level of focus, Wenger said, “Look, that’s all speculation, you cannot interfere with that. There’s only one way to show how much you are committed, that’s your attitude on the pitch. And when you see him play, one thing you cannot question is the way he wants to play for the team.”

Ozil has largely struggled this season amid rumors regarding his future with the Gunners, but he put forth what was arguably his finest showing of the new campaign in Arsenal’s 5-0 win over Huddersfield on Wednesday. Ozil contributed a goal and a pair of assists – all in the span of just four minutes – in the Gunners’ thrashing of the Terriers.

While Barcelona appeared to be the early frontrunner to land Ozil’s services once he leaves Arsenal, new reports have linked the player with a move to United, where he would be reunited with manager Jose Mourinho. Mourinho coached Ozil while the two were at Real Madrid from 2010 until 2013, when both left for England.

Wenger and Mourinho have something of a rivalry of their own, of course. Wenger has long been critical of the way Mourinho coaches his teams in away fixtures. Mourinho’s sides have a history of sitting back and parking the bus in away matches, which rubs many of his rivals the wrong way.

When asked about his so-called rivalry with the Manchester United boss, Wenger said he doesn’t expect Mourinho to park the bus. He said, “No, I don’t expect anything special. I expect us just to cope with the problems they will give us. They will attack as well, they will not only defend. I haven’t seen them a lot, and it’s not down to me to judge the way they play.”

United enter Saturday’s clash sitting second in the Premier League on 32 points. The Gunners, meanwhile, are fourth on 28 points. Manchester City are comfortably ahead of the rest of the league on 40 points.

United have been the league’s stingiest defensive side so far in 2017-18. The Red Devils have conceded just eight goals in league play, while Arsenal have let 16 into the back of their own net. Mourinho’s men have won three consecutive league games, including a 4-2 triumph over Watford in their most recent outing.

Arsenal have also won three straight in the Premier League, including an impressive 2-0 showing over Tottenham two weeks ago. When asked about the task of facing United, Wenger added, “I think I have just to look at the way we play, and to prepare well for the game. They are a dangerous team, they have made fantastic results. So to beat a team like that, you need to be at your best. And that’s what I want to focus on.”


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