Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta hopes to find ‘right solution’ regarding Mesut Ozil

George Sessions, PA
·4-min read

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says Mesut Ozil’s future will be decided “in the next few days”.

The playmaker has only six months left on his current contract and has not featured for the club since the win over West Ham on March 7.

Free to speak to foreign clubs this month, the German could depart the Emirates in the January transfer window or reach a pre-agreement over a move in the summer when his deal expires.

Ozil was left out of Arsenal’s Premier League and Europa League squads for this season, but is free to face Newcastle in the FA Cup third round on Saturday if selected.

Ozil has not played for Arsenal since March 7
Ozil has not played for Arsenal since March 7 (Andrew Matthews/NMC Pool)

“We will decide what is happening in the next few days,” Arteta said.

“A decision has to be made when you have to register or not register players, when you have to play them or not play them all the time.

“We know we have a really important player that is one of key players in the past few seasons for this football club. We had to make a decision, I had to make a decision. I made it. I knew the consequences of it.

“Now we will have to make another one in January and we will just put in the balance what is best thing for the club, what is the best thing for the team and what the intentions of the player are and try to find the right solution.”

Arteta provided a glimmer of hope to the World Cup winner last week when he admitted his absence from the squad would be assessed at the end of the transfer window.

With the 32-year-old determined not to have played his final game for the Gunners, his agent Dr Erkut Sogut told ESPN.com on Wednesday: “He might stay at Arsenal until the summer, but he might go.

“Mesut’s priority is to stay, but you never know in football, things can change very fast.”

Spaniard Arteta added: “I don’t know what is going to happen, obviously now he is free to negotiate with other clubs.

“We will discuss internally what is the best situation for him in the near future, with the player and the agent, and try and find the best solution for everyone.”

The Arsenal manager confirmed Ozil was training with the first team but had been given time off “for something personal” recently.

One player who will definitely not feature against Newcastle is William Saliba after he joined Ligue 1 side Nice on loan this week.

The move is designed to give the 19-year-old, who joined Arsenal in July 2019, more playing time with his only two games this term coming in the EFL Trophy – and he was sent off against AFC Wimbledon in December.

Arteta added: “It has been difficult months for him to cope with the situation, but I see the development he has made and the progression he has shown over the months and now he is ready to compete.

“He is going to a really strong league, a league he knows well and he has experience (of), and needs to play as many games as possible to be ready for us next season.”

Young Hertha Berlin defender Omar Rekik is expected to sign for Arsenal this month, according to boss Arteta, who also discussed Folarin Balogun’s future.

Nineteen-year-old forward Balogun could face the Magpies as the Gunners get the defence of their FA Cup crown under way, but, with his contract due to expire in the summer, the academy graduate may depart the Emirates shortly.

“The club wants to make a deal, the manager wants to make a deal, the player wants to stay and I’m not sure about the agent,” Arteta insisted.

“We are negotiating with an agent, with a player that wants to stay at the club and we need to find an agreement.

“I’m telling you that we are doing everything we can to keep him here and hopefully from the other part they are doing the same and in the same interest, which is the player’s interest which is to stay at the football club and be successful with us.”