Transfers

Mesut Ozil's representatives contact Juventus - 6 months remain on Arsenal deal

Grey Whitebloom
Dec 27, 2020, 4:35 PM GMT
Mesut Ozil has been a scarcely spotted figure at Arsenal since football in England came to a halt in March
Mesut Ozil has been a scarcely spotted figure at Arsenal since football in England came to a halt in March / Harriet Lander/Copa/Getty Images
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Arsenal's exiled midfielder Mesut Ozil is thought to have made contact with Italian giants Juventus in the pursuit of a January move away from north London.

Ozil joined Arsenal in the summer of 2013 for a fee of £42.4m. Yet, after seven seasons as a crucial first-team regular, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta made the controversial decision to leave Ozil out of the club's 25-man Premier League squad this term.

Following his mid-season appointment in December 2019, Arteta actually started Ozil in the first ten Premier League matches he took charge of before the English footballing calendar was put on hold in March. Ozil hasn't made an appearance since and was only twice included on the bench.

Now reigning Serie A champions Juventus are billed as Ozil's latest escape route, according to the Italian publication Tuttosport - though they cite reports from Turkey.

The report highlights rumours which have emerged of late suggesting that members of Ozil's entourage have made contact with Juventus emissaries, and not for the first time.

Tuttosport estimated that Arsenal would still owe Ozil around €10m in salary, which he is set to earn between January and June 2021 - when his contract finally expires. Juventus could loan the 32-year-old attacking midfielder for six months, paying half his salary with Arsenal willing to cover the excess.

Juventus' apparent interest in Ozil doesn't entirely fit with the club's novice manager Andrea Pirlo attempting a squad clean out when he was appointed last summer. With a number of experienced professionals deemed 'unwanted' by the new coach who has regularly turned to young players in his first six months of the job.

After being left out of Arsenal's squad for the Premier League and Europa League, Arsenal's players are thought to be divided about the possibility of Ozil returning to the fray when amendments can be made in January.

However, that eventuality may never arise as Ozil has been linked with no shortage of suitors. MLS franchise DC United are thought to have joined the race for the World Cup winner's signature. Although, Turkish outfit Fenerbache are touted as '90%' confident of recruiting the exiled former Germany international this winter.

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