Premier League giants Arsenal are preparing to open fresh negotiations with Mesut Ozil, over the possibility of terminating the German’s contract.
Ozil’s exit links
Speculation surrounding Gunners midfielder Ozil reemerged in force this past summer.
On the back of another disappointing campaign, during which the 31-year-old struggled for form, fitness and game-time, rumours inevitably cropped back up regarding a potential exit from the Emirates.
Despite Ozil having initially established himself as first-choice following the appointment of Mikel Arteta, he was subsequently frozen out following English football’s post-Covid-19 return in June, failing to take to the pitch once across Arsenal’s final 14 outings of the season.
This came on top of the fact that the German managed a paltry return of one goal and two assists across 23 prior appearances over the course of the campaign.
LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 15: Per Mertesacker and Fredrik Ljungberg of Arsenal look on as Mesut Ozil kicks his gloves in the air in frustration after he is subbed during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Manchester City at Emirates Stadium on December 15, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images)
Perhaps most concerning of all when it comes to Ozil’s situation at the Emirates, however, is not his form, or even relationship with Mikel Arteta, but rather the German’s staggering wages.
Ozil is currently tied down to a deal which sees the former Real Madrid man net £350,000-per-week, making him Arsenal’s top earner, and by some distance.
While such a mammoth payout to a player contributing so little on the pitch would of course come as a source of concern at any given point, though, the current financial climate makes Ozil’s contract a genuinely pressing issue in north London.
WATFORD, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 15: Mesut Ozil of Arsenal arrives prior to the Premier League match between Watford FC and Arsenal FC at Vicarage Road on September 15, 2019 in Watford, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
To this point, however, despite the club’s best efforts, evidently, Arsenal have been unable to move their out-of-favour midfielder on.
But, if the latest word stemming from the media on Thursday is to be believed, then those in a position of power at the Emirates are not prepared to throw in the towel just yet.
As per a report from Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail, the Gunners are ‘ready to re-open talks’ with Ozil, over the possibility of ending his contract early.
Arsenal are said to have reached out to the former Schalke man over the last couple of weeks, in an attempt to work out a settlement agreement, whereby Ozil would agree to forgo some of his remaining year’s worth of wages, in exchange for a lump-sum payment.
The 31-year-old refused, amid claims that he is dead set on receiving the full £13 million remaining on his deal.
The north Londoners, however, remain determined in their quest to push Ozil out.
SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 16: Mesut Ozil of Arsenal on the bench during the Premier League match between Southampton FC and Arsenal FC at St Mary’s Stadium on December 16, 2018 in Southampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Word of Arsenal’s renewed efforts to remove Ozil from the club’s books comes just hours after Mikel Arteta made crystal clear once again his lack of faith in the German.
The Gunners’ Europa League squad for the campaign ahead was revealed earlier today, with Ozil, alongside Sokratis Papastathopoulos and William Saliba, having been left out by Arteta.
Mesut Ozil has been left out of Arsenal’s squad for the Europa League group stage.
The Gunners have now paid him £10.75m in wages since he last featured in any competition on March 7. pic.twitter.com/hOIoGTkP2h
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) October 8, 2020