Arsenal Ready to Pay Off Mesut Özil to Help Facilitate Emirates Stadium Exit

Mesut Oezil
Mesut Ozil has one year left on his Arsenal contract | DeFodi Images/Getty Images

Arsenal hope to sit down with midfielder Mesut Özil and discuss a potential pay-off which would see him leave the club one year before his contract expires.

The 31-year-old, who is understood to be on a contract worth up to £350,000 a week, started just 22 games this season in all competitions, contributing just one goal and three assists.

That poor return saw him drift into the wilderness under the reigns of both Unai Emery and Mikel Arteta, with Arsenal keen to get him off their wage bill.

Manchester United came to a similar decision over the future of Alexis Sánchez, with a source confirming to 90min that a pay-off was the only way to help him seal a permanent move to Inter, and now The Mirror state that Arsenal hope to find their own agreement with Özil.

The German is owed £18m for the final year of his contract and his representatives have made no secret of his desire to stay at the Emirates Stadium and take that money home - but Arsenal know that paying a squad player on that much money is not an option.

The Gunners recently made 55 non-playing staff redundant as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, but that hasn't stopped them pushing to sign Willian on a three-year deal, as well as negotiating a bumper new contract with striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Not only does Özil's wage make it hard to finance other transfers, but it also sets a benchmark which Arsenal want to distance themselves from. There is no desire to spend that kind of money on any player - even Aubameyang has only been offered £250,000-a-week.

To try and get Özil's salary off the books, Arsenal are prepared to try and reach an agreement over a pay-off, but they would also be prepared to subsidise his wages to help him seal a move elsewhere - either on loan or permanently.

The main problem for Arsenal is that there are no obvious buyers for Özil. Most rumours have come from Turkey, but Turkish sides would struggle to come anywhere close to his current salary and would require a hefty contribution from the Gunners.

Mesut Ozil
Ozil's high wages have long been considered a problem | Harriet Lander/Copa/Getty Images

There's no indication as to whether Özil would actually be interested in such a proposal, but he will be well aware that his chances of regular game time will be limited if he stays at the Emirates.

Mikel Arteta preferred a 3-4-3 formation to end the season, which leaves no place for Özil. Granit Xhaka and loanee Dani Ceballos formed a promising partnership in the heart of Arteta's midfield, and the German doesn't look likely to regain a place.

For more from ​Tom Gott, follow him on ​Twitter!