Arsenal are tipped to re-open talks with Mesut Ozil over cancelling the out of favour midfielder’s lucrative contract, having already failed to come to a suitable agreement in recent weeks.
Ozil signed the bumper £350,000 per week deal in February 2018, which is now due to expire at the end of this season. But with the 2014 World Cup winner not part of Mikel Arteta’s plans and often suffering with a mystery back injury, it has become a drain on Arsenal’s resources with no upside.
Despite 17 starts in a run of 18 Premier League games in the middle of last season, including 10 after Mikel Arteta was appointed manager, Ozil was completely frozen out during ‘Project Restart’.
Turning 32 next week, he hasn’t featured at all so far this season, even on the bench, and his omission from the 25-man UEFA squad Arteta has chosen for the Europa League group stage underlines how he is seen by Arsenal’s management and coaches.
With no footballing reason to select Ozil, it is understandable that the club should want him off the books sooner than next summer when they remain liable for his £1.4m monthly salary. It is only Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's recent new contract that means he is no longer Arsenal's top earner.
According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal have already held talks with Ozil over the past two weeks about tearing up his contract early, but no agreement was reached. They are now expected to re-open negotiations and try again to remove the heavy burden of paying him for another nine months.
However, it is said that Ozil is asking for a pay-off close to the full £13m his contract entitles him to in order to end it early. That puts serious doubts over whether Arsenal will be able to shift him before the January transfer window opens in just over three months’ time.
The club are at least ready to make Ozil a fresh offer to see if he will leave. But if the player refuses and no taker is found in January, Arsenal will be paying a total of £13m for a player that has no use to them.