Mesut Özil assisted a goal every 199.9 minutes last season, which was the 12th best rate of all players in the top five European leagues. This means that even at an inferior team, Ozil still had a better assist rate than Xavi, according to OptaJoe.

The rumours that we are set to sign the German midfielder have rumbled on and weren’t helped when Sir Alex Ferguson appeared at Craven Cottage to watch Fulham take on Ozil’s team, Werder Bremen.

“I was there to look at Fulham,” Ferguson insisted. “Ozil is interesting a lot of teams but at this moment I trust the ones I’ve got. I’ve got a really good squad of players.”

However, when asked if United were one of the clubs interested, he replied: “I didn’t say that. I don’t know.” And then he left the room.

Ferguson was asked directly four times whether he wanted to sign Ozil or whether United were interested in him, and on each occasion he rebuffed the question with an answer which doesn’t really answer the question. He is probably purposefully being non-committal here, claiming to be happy with what he’s got, without denying interest point blank.

Klaus Allofs, Bremen’s general manager, is seemingly happy to discuss the transfer, given that the wanted midfielder only has a year left on his contract, which obviously means they wouldn’t make any more on him next summer.

“Should there be an offer on the table, we would consider it,” said Allofs. “Everything is still possible at the moment.”

Before that, the player himself confirmed he would be open with a move to the Premiership.

“There are four or five clubs in Europe that you would have to say as a player would be a dream to play for,” he said. “Manchester United and Chelsea are very much two of them. When you are looking at moving clubs it’s impossible not to pay attention to the Premier League and even more impossible not to pay attention to Manchester United and Chelsea.”

The press are reporting today that an offer of £13m would be enough to secure the signature of the 21-year-old, which would probably work out as the bargain of the past few years.