Arsenal: Arteta believes team have 'taken handbrake off'
Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil has posted a cryptic tweet following reports in Turkey that he is closing in on move to Fenerbahce. The German international is expected to see out the rest of his contract in north London before moving onto pastures new in the summer.
The Gunners have tried to reach a mutual termination of his contract but Ozil remains adamant he reserves the right to stay at the Emirates Stadium until his time is officially up at the club.
He was faced with disappointment at the beginning of the season after Mikel Arteta decided to axe him from the club’s Premier League and Europa League squad.
Ozil has received offers from the Middle East while MLS clubs have also taken a fancy to the World Cup winner.
The 32-year-old hasn’t played for the club since March but continues to train with the first-team, while voicing his opinions on Twitter.
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Arsenal are desperate to get his £350,000 a week wages off the books this month and are unlikely to recall him to the squad for the second half of the campaign.
Now Turkish journalist Berkay Tokgoz claims that Fenerbahce are set to complete a deal this month.
He even claims that Ozil will wear the No 23 shirt for the Super Lig giants.
Coincidentally, Ozil has since posted a cryptic tweet following the claims, which includes a picture of him in Istanbul. The image is captioned: “This city … #throwback #Istanbul.”
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The ploy appears to have increased speculation that Ozil could finally be heading for the exit door this month.
According to The Athletic’s David Ornstein, Ozil was recently granted permission to miss training by Arteta.
“I don’t think there’s any great expectation on behalf of the club or the player that he is going to be reintegrated [into Arsenal’s squad],” he said on the Ornstein and Chapman Podcast.
“He seems to be training with the first team. I think he’s been given a bit of time off with the club’s blessing just recently, so I don’t know if he’s with the first-team setup as we speak, but he has been throughout the season and from what we hear, his fitness is in good shape.
“We know about his technical level, there’s no match fitness whatsoever. He’s not played a single second of football since lockdown in March, so I’d be, as I said before, very surprised and I think that there’s no expectation, really, at this point in time on behalf of the club or the player that he’ll be playing again for Arsenal.”
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