Mesut Ozil has said Fenerbahce are the “biggest club in my country” amid speculation the Turkish Super Lig club are interested in signing the Arsenal midfielder.
The 32-year-old’s representatives are currently in talks with a number of clubs, including Fenerbahce and DC United, over a move away from Arsenal, although the player’s priority is to see out his current contract until the summer.
Arsenal are yet to receive any direct contact from other clubs regarding the prospect of Ozil leaving this month. The playmaker has not featured for the Gunners since March last year after being omitted from manager Mikel Arteta’s Premier League and Europa League squads for the first half of this season.
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Ozil’s brother Mutlu also posted a Fenerbahce badge with a wink-face emoji on his Instagram story at the weekend.
During a question and answer session with his 25.5m Twitter followers, Ozil posted: “I grew up as a Fenerbahce fan as a kid in Germany – every German-Turkish person supports a Turkish team when they grow up in Germany.
“And mine was Fenerbahce. Fenerbahce is like Real Madrid in Spain. The biggest club in my country.”
During the Q&A, Ozil also ruled out re-joining his former club Schalke and joked that he would rather retire than join Arsenal’s rivals Tottenham.
The midfielder has previously spoken about being frozen out at Arsenal, accusing the club of a lack of loyalty for not including him in this season’s squads after he started every game since Arteta’s appointment prior to the 2019/20 campaign’s suspension in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
He reiterated: “There have been many ups and downs so far, but all in all I’ve never regret[ted] my decision to join Arsenal. And to be honest, the last couple of games before the corona break made really a lot of fun.
“I enjoyed that time a lot and thought we [were] really on a positive way. But after the break things unfortunately changed.”
Arteta, who can choose to re-register Ozil to his squads after the January transfer window, wants the situation resolved, but has stated that a move away from the Emirates would only be facilitated if it is right for the club and the player.
During a press conference on Monday, the Arsenal boss said that conversations were ongoing regarding the “near future and long-term future” of Ozil.
Arteta added: “When we know something we will announce it.”
Earning around £350,000-a-week, Ozil is the highest-paid player in Arsenal’s history and he is free to speak with other sides this month ahead of his current deal expiring in June.
Ozil’s agent, Dr Erkut Sogut, told Sky Sports News earlier in January that his client’s future will become clearer over the course of the month.
The former Germany international, who was a part of Joachim Low’s side which won the World Cup in 2014, joined Arsenal from Real Madrid in 2013 for a then club-record fee and has scored 44 goals in 254 matches for the Gunners in all competitions.
Meanwhile, Arteta has confirmed that forward Eddie Nketiah will not be departing Arsenal this month.
Striker Folarin Balogun is also likely to see out the remaining six months of his contract and leave for free in the summer, while Genoa’s chief executive Alessandro Zarbano has confirmed the club is interested in Sokratis Papastathopoulos.
Defender William Saliba has joined Nice on loan until the end of the season.
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The winter transfer window is open until Monday February 1 at 11pm.
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