Mesut Ozil: Arsenal outcast’s future will be decided in ‘next few days’, says Mikel Arteta

Simon Collings
·3-min read
<p>Exile: Mesut Ozil has not played for Arsenal since March</p> (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Exile: Mesut Ozil has not played for Arsenal since March

(Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta expects Mesut Ozil’s future at the club to be resolved “in the next few days”.

Ozil is into the final six months of his £350,000-a-week contract and is able to talk to overseas clubs ahead of a free transfer this summer.

The German is attracting interest from MLS side DC United and Turkish club Fenerbahce, who could sign him this month if they reach an agreement with Arsenal.

The Gunners are yet to be contacted by any club, but Arteta is expecting the situation to accelerate quickly.

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

“I think every player wants to play football, that is why we pick this profession and we are so lucky to be doing what we do. For every player that is not playing it is hard.

“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."

Ozil has not played for Arsenal since March of last year and he was left out of the club’s Europa League and Premier League squads this season.

The 32-year-old could, in theory, feature against Newcastle United in the FA Cup on Saturday and Arteta said this morning he was still deciding if the German would play.

Given the fact Ozil is close to an exit his inclusion in the squad for the third-round match at Emirates Stadium seems unlikely, particularly as he was also not used in any Carabao Cup games this season.

“If something is sorted this month, it is because it is good for both parties – for Mesut and his future and good for the club,” Arteta added.

“If that is the case we will move forward, if it is not the case then he will continue here.

“He has been training with us, but he had some days (off) because we decided to give him some days for something personal. But he has been training with us.

“We know we have a really important player that is one of the key players in the past few seasons for this football club.

“We had to make a decision [in the summer], I made it, I knew the consequences of it and now are going to have to make another one in January and we will put in the balance what is good for the club, the best thing for the team and what the intentions of the player are and try and find the right solutions.”

Arsenal are working hard to conclude their transfer business this month and they have already loaned Sead Kolasinac to Schalke and William Saliba to Nice.

They also hope to offload Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis Papastathopoulos, whose contracts expire in the summer.

In terms of incomings, Arsenal want to sign a creative midfielder but today they were closing in on signing a young centre-back in Omar Rekik.

The 19-year-old is due to join from Hertha Berlin for around £500,000 and Arteta said: “We will announce it when we possibly can, he is a young talent that we have been following for a while that has a really bright future, but we will give more details when we can.”

Arteta was speaking this morning in the wake of a number of clubs having issues with players breaking Covid-19 protocols and he urged football to get tough with measures.

“I think we have to be very aware of that and we have to be very strict,” he said.

“People are sacrificing their lives to help society in this moment and what we have to do is contribute and not give any more issues to the public or to the government to make a decision we don’t want.”

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