Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta hands Mesut Ozil ultimatum over Gunners future

The Arsenal manager left German misfit Ozil out of his Europa League squad last week, and offered no guarantees that the 32-year-old will be named in the Premier League squad next week.

Ozil’s Arsenal contract runs out at the end of the season, and Arteta has not named the playmaker once in his team once since March.

The Gunners manager, whose side face a tough trip to Manchester City tomorrow, also left defender Sokratis out of the European squad, and he said: “I wanted to tell them face to face before releasing the squad.

“I explained the reasons why and the numbers we had. It was really difficult for me to tell them – but this is the restriction and rules.

“They have to respect that decision and try to train the best possible way, help the team when they can. Then we will see what happens in December.”

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Arteta added: “To leave players out at that level, where they know they cannot get involved, is really tough. But the decision had to be made because we have an excess of foreign players.

“It is down to us to to find ways to motivate those players. And it is about how you react to disappointments. Try to look at the overall picture, make the right decisions.”

Arsenal are still in talks with the Scottish government over fullback Kieran Tierney, who they hope to get released from his COVID quarantine in time to play at the Etihad.

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Scotland defender Tierney was placed in isolation for 14 days last Tuesday after international teammate Stuart Armstrong tested positive for coronavirus.

Tierney himself returned a negative test, and he and Arsenal have insisted there was no close contact.

Talks were still ongoing last night between Arsenal and the Lothian Protection Team, the Scottish government and the Scottish FA to try to get Tierney’s release in time for tomorrow’s game.

Arteta said: “I will be extremely disappointed if he is not able to play.

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“It will be frustrating if he cannot, because we have tried to do all the right things to keep the players safe. We know the history with the player and what happened in the last few months with him as well.

“We are very reassured that there is not any risk for him to be involved with us. That is the case we are defending really strongly with the authorities.”

“This is getting very complicated when we are sending players abroad. Obviously you lose control. Some authorities have different regulations to the ones in the Premier League.”

Arsenal return to action against Manchester City on Saturday in the Premier League (5.30pm).

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