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Ozil closing in on a move away from Arsenal

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta gives blessing for 32-year-old World Cup winner’s transfer

08 January, 2021 — By Steve Barnett

Representatives for Mesut Ozil (right) are in talks with clubs including Turkish giants Fenerbahce and MLS side DC United

MIKEL Arteta has given his blessing for Mesut Ozil to finally leave Arsenal this month – as long as any potential deal is right for both the club and the player.

Ozil’s representatives are in talks with a number of potential suitors, including Turkish giants Fenerbahce and MLS side DC United.

Ozil’s agent says the German World Cup winner’s future will “become a little clearer” by the end of next week.

But clearer certainly doesn’t mean departing, with the 32-year-old said to be keen to see out his £350,000-per-week Arsenal contract, which expires this summer.

Despite being one of the club’s highest earners, however, the Gunners opted not to register Ozil for either their Premier League or Europa League squad for the first half of the season.

There was talk that the playmaker could be included for the second half of the campaign, but the emergence of Emile Smith Rowe, who has added some much-needed creativity, seems to have quashed such ideas.

Quizzed about Ozil ahead of Arsenal’s FA Cup third-round match against Newcastle on Saturday, Arteta said: “If something is sorted this month [in the January transfer window], it’s because it’s good for both parties – good for Mesut and his future, and good for the club. If that’s the case, we will move forward. If that’s not the case, the player will continue here.”

Pressed further on the issue, the Gunners boss added: “A lot of decisions have to be made on players all the time.

“To play them or not play them. We know that we have a very important player, a key player in the past few seasons for this football club.

“I had to make a decision [to drop him from the squad] and I made it. I knew the consequences of it. Now we are going to have to make another one in January.

“We must balance what is the best option for the team, the club and what the intentions of the player is. We must try and find a solution to that.”

Arteta is on the hunt to add some new creativity to the north Londoners’ midfield. One player drumming up interest is Norwich’s Emi Buendia, with the Gunners rumoured to be readying a player-plus-cash offer for the Argentine. The 24-year-old has scored seven goals and registered six assists in the Championship this term, making him hot property for chasing clubs.

Reacting to news of a potential move away from Carrow Road, Buendia said: “I belong to Norwich, I have to do things well for my team.

“Tomorrow we will see, but I never had my head outside the objectives, to work so that my club does well.”

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