Manchester United have been tipped to get rid of inconsistent playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan as speculation regarding a summer approach for soon-to-be free agent Mesut Ozil intensifies.
According to the Daily Mirror, United boss Jose Mourinho is ready get rid of Mkhitaryan if it means creating space in his squad and the club's wage budget for Arsenal contract rebel Ozil.
The situation of Mkhitaryan at Old Trafford is a curious one. The Armenian started the season in fine form after a strong end to the 2016/17 campaign. But his current omissions from matchday squads - the 28-year-old has only been named on the bench once since November 5 - is reminiscent of his troubles at the same stage of last season when he had first arrived.
Mkhitaryan is not believed to be injured, just as he wasn't this time last year, with recent reports suggesting that Mourinho is trying to light a fire under him to get him performing again.
Should the former Borussia Dortmund star continue to fail to command a place in the team, or even on the bench, it is perfectly plausible that the manager and club should lose patience, despite his known quality when he is in good form.
United paid around £26m for Mkhitaryan just under 18 months ago and the Mirror report notes that the club would be 'confident' about recouping most of their investment should he be sold.
Until Mkhitaryan is gone, it is said that Mourinho would struggle to justify bringing in another 'number 10' like Ozil, especially with Juan Mata also already in the squad.
Earlier this week, a report from the Daily Mail claimed that Ozil would prefer to join United, reuniting with Mourinho, than head back to Spain to sign with Barcelona.
Barça have been heavily linked with the German international as an alternative target to Philippe Coutinho and would be expected to make an approach with a cut price offer in January, rather than wait until the end of the season, should they be prepared to formalise their interest.