Former Manchester United midfielder Ray Wilkins has urged Jose Mourinho to sign Chelsea's Willian instead of Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil.

Ozil, 29, is about to enter the final six months of his contract at the Emirates Stadium with United among the clubs interested in offering him a deal. Mourinho, who worked with the Germany international during their time together at Real Madrid, refused to rule out a move for the Gunners star during a recent press conference with reports suggesting his side will swoop when Ozil's contract expires at the end of the season.

But Wilkins, who spent five years at United between 1979 and 1984, has cast doubt on those reports, believing the World Cup winner does not have the work ethic to fit into Mourinho's current set up at United. But in Willian, a player the Portuguese coach has tried to sign on more than one occasion while in Manchester, Wilkins sees a player who Mourinho will go for again.

"Mesut Ozil won't go to Old Trafford because he doesn't have the work ethic that Mourinho looks for in his players," Wilkins told sportingbet. "I actually see Willian as being the likely player to head to Old Trafford. Jose is an enormous admirer of Willian and he would be a special signing for United, but I pray that Chelsea don't let him go."

"Ozil needs to go back to Germany, enjoy his football again and get around the pitch as he likes doing. In the Premier League, you're expected to work hard defensively for your team, and I don't think Mesut does that enough. Against Spurs, he was excellent in doing that, tracking Christian Eriksen, but he needs to do that every game, it can't be one game in 20."

United are also keen on bringing in Juventus superstar Paulo Dybala to strengthen their attacking options. The Premier League giants are said to have already made enquiries into signing the Argentina international, as reported by the Sunday Mirror in September, with chief executive Ed Woodward making it known to the player's management team Mourinho wants him at Old Trafford in a possible £155m deal.

And in Dybala, Wilkins sees a player who he believes will close the gap between United and neighbours Manchester United.

"If United sign him, good grief City will have to watch out. He's one of those skilful South American players that will light up the Premier League. If I was a head of scouting for a top six club, I would tell them to go to South America to scout small, skilful centre-forwards because these guys are becoming world class players – like Dybala. He's a magical footballer, works hard on and off the pitch and would be a credit to the Premier League."

Mourinho still wants Willian, suggests Wilkins. gETTy