Mikel Arteta insists the club will NOT cut short the £350,000-a-week contract of Mesut Ozil… but Arsenal manager is still unsure if he will restore German playmaker to his 25-man Premier League squad this month
- Mesut Ozil has not played a single competitive second for Arsenal this campaign
- Ozil wants to honour his £350,000-a-week contract which expires in six months
- Gunners boss Mikel Arteta has started a clear-out of dead wood at the Emirates
- The German’s future is uncertain, with clubs unwilling to match his huge wages
Mikel Arteta has declared Arsenal will not curtail the contract of outcast Mesut Ozil, but whether he returns to the Gunners squad depends on how the transfer window goes.
Attacking midfielder Ozil is on an eye-watering £350,000-a-week deal – expiring in six months – but was left out of the club’s 25-man Premier League and Europa League squads back in October.
The 32-year-old German has not played a competitive second for Arsenal so far this season, and his prohibitive wages have so far proved a stumbling block for a transfer away.
Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil has not played one competitive match for the club this season
Asked whether Ozil, who has stated he wants to stay for the duration of his contract at the Emirates, would rejoin the squad in January, Arteta was non-committal.
He said: ‘We will see what happens in the transfer window and we will assess at the end of that.
‘You have to respect the players’ contracts. You can just try to be open with them, tell them your intentions, the role that they have in the team and why that is.
Ozil’s £350,000 a week wage ends in six months but boss Mikel Arteta will not cut it short
‘Some would like to move because they are not playing and some would like to stay. That’s something we cannot decide by ourselves.
‘When a player doesn’t play, it is really difficult to be happy.
‘There are players that don’t play at all, they know they are not going to have any chance. That is tough mentally for them, to maintain that motivation and positivity around the place for a lot of months. That’s a big task.’
Arteta has already made plain his intention to sell or loan out players who are not part of his plans, with Sead Kolasinac to Schalke likely the first of many to leave the club in the January transfer window.
German attacking midfielder Ozil enjoyed success under Arsene Wenger (left) but has fallen out of favour and he was not named in Arsenal’s 25-man Premier League squad this season
Sportsmail reported on New Year’s Eve that Arsenal icon Liam Brady claimed Ozil was ‘not a good guy’ and fully supported Arteta for exiling him.
The Ozil conundrum has also hampered their potential incomings, with a reported move for Inter Milan’s Christian Eriksen said to be dependent on the situation with the 92-cap international.
Arsenal travel to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday evening sat 13th in the league, as close to the relegation zone as they are to the top four Champions League spots.
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