Mesut Ozil will resist attempts from Arsenal to sell him this summer and intends to see out the final year of his £350,000-a-week contract despite being axed from the squad, according to reports.
The German playmaker has yet to make an appearance for the Gunners since the football season was restarted despite being a regular in the side before the disruption, not even making the matchday squad for the last three Premier League fixtures.
Arsenal are believed to be keen to offload Ozil – and his enormous, club-record salary – if they can find a buyer, though the player himself is less keen despite appearing to be frozen out.
According to The Sun, Ozil has told friends that he has no intention of leaving Arsenal this summer and will remain at the club even if he is not part of Mikel Arteta’s plans.
The 31-year-old is determined to see out the final year of his contract and then intends to leave on a free transfer next summer.
Ozil’s decision means Arsenal stand to fork out around £18million on his salary over the next 12 months even if he does not play a single minute of football.
The World Cup winner will then be free to begin negotiating a pre-contract agreement with foreign clubs from January onwards, though he has already whittled down his options.
Ozil has told pals that he will only consider playing in the USA or Turkey as he looks to wind down his career.
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Evlilik yıldönümümüz kutlu olsun aşkım. Seninle ve güzel kızımız ile geçirdiğimiz her saniye için teşekkürler. İyiki varsın. Seni çok seviyorum. 😘❤️ || Happy 1st wedding anniversary, my love. Enjoying every second with you and our beautiful daughter. Love u 👨👩👧💕 @gulseamine
The former Real Madrid and Schalke star is a third-generation Turkish-German and was eligible to play for the former nation but opted for the country of his birth, while his wife is former Miss Turkey Amine Gulse – Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan was even present at their wedding.
Ozil has endured a difficult campaign this season, once again struggling with back issues, and has scored only once and laid on just three assists in 23 appearances in all competitions.
Despite not picking Ozil in recent matchday squads – even though he is now allowed nine subs – Arteta opened the door for his reintroduction saying ‘there is always a place for a player of his quality’ in the Arsenal team.
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