Arsenal are yet to meet with midfielder Mesut Özil to discuss terminating his contract, and the German has no interest in doing so.
Özil was an integral part of Mikel Arteta’s team before lockdown but has tumbled down the pecking order since and is yet to play a single minute of the current campaign.
Things got even worse for the 31-year-old on Thursday when he was left out of Arsenal‘s 25-man Europa League squad, prompting reports that the Gunners could look to terminate his £350,000-a-week contract to try and save themselves paying the final year of his wages.
However, according to ESPN, no talks have taken place just yet and Özil is prepared to reject any attempt to cut short his time at the Emirates Stadium. He is said to be fully focused on playing his way back into Arteta’s plans, with a view to returning to the squad in the near future.
Arsenal have until 20th October to finalise their 25-man squad for the Premier League and it remains to be seen whether Özil will make the cut for that one.
A large part of Arsenal’s reason for trying to part ways with Özil is the sheer size of his contract. The COVID-19 outbreak saw Arsenal ask their squad to take a 12.5% pay cut, and several non-playing staff have also seen their contracts terminated.
55 workers were made redundant earlier in the summer, and the club hit the headlines for the wrong reasons once more as they terminated the contract of Jerry Quy, the man who had played popular mascot Gunnersaurus for 27 years.
Özil offered to cover the salary of Quy so long as he remained at the Emirates, with the pair understood to have formed a close bond since Özil’s arrival at the club back in 2013.
The future may look bleak for Özil, but the German is confident that he will be able to work his way back into Arteta’s plans.
There is real competition for minutes in the Gunners’ midfield. Dani Ceballos was brought back for another season-long loan from Real Madrid and Arsenal splashed out €50m to sign Thomas Partey from Atlético Madrid on deadline day.