By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent
Arsenal are in advanced talks with Real Madrid to sign Mesut Ozil for £40 million, Goal can reveal.
High-level discussions have been held between the clubs in recent days and Arsene Wenger is increasingly hopeful that a sensational late move for the Germany international can be completed before Monday night’s transfer deadline. Arsenal are willing to pay a club-record £40m to capture Ozil, who has privately indicated he is keen to move to the Emirates Stadium, despite his public claims he is happy to stay and fight for his place in Carlo Ancelotti's side.
The Gunners now face a race against time to complete the deal in what promises to be a frantic final 24 hours of the window. Wenger is targeting at least three new signings on deadline day as he tries to make amends for what has been a frustrating summer of transfer activity for the club. As revealed by Goal, Arsenal have reached an agreement with Palermo to sign goalkeeper Emiliano Vivano on a season-long loan, with the Italian heading to London on Sunday night to discuss personal terms and undertake a medical. Wenger is also working on a third deal as he seeks to strengthen a squad that has been severely weakened both by injury and high-profile departures in the past two summers. Despite working with a transfer budget of up to £100m, Wenger has suffered repeated frustration in the transfer market this summer and is yet to make a cash signing. The Frenchman’s priority has been to add a proven striker to the ranks but two bids for Luis Suarez were rejected by Liverpool, while moves for Gonzalo Higuain, Wayne Rooney and Karim Benzema have all been unsuccessful. Wenger turned his attention to Real Madrid’s battery of elite attackers after it became increasingly clear that Bale was set for a world-record £86m move to Spain. The Gunners tabled a £25.6m bid for Angel Di Maria last week but the player has begun the season in impressive form and is reluctant to cut his ties with the Bernabeu. However, Ozil was left on the bench for Real’s 3-1 win earlier on Sunday after being substituted during the 1-0 win at Granada six days previously, which he reacted to by storming down the tunnel and onto the team bus. Asked about overlooking Ozil in favour of Di Maria on Sunday, Ancelotti said: “It’s to be expected that he’s not happy. I don’t like players who are happy to be on the bench. It was a football decision to play Di María, who is playing well and with great intensity". Arsenal have been given encouragement that Real are willing to off-load the 24-year-old playmaker as they prepare to trim costs and free up space in the team for Gareth Bale. Ozil has been a fixture in the Real team, usually playing in the No10 role behind the centre-forward, since moving from Werder Bream in the summer of 2010. He has also won 47 caps for the Germany national team.