Mesut Ozil’s seven-and-a-half-year stay at Arsenal is on the brink of coming to an end after the two parties reached an agreement in principle to release him from his contract.
The 32-year-old has not played for the Gunners since March. His £350,000-a-week deal was set to expire at the end of the current season.
As per the PA news agency, both parties have all-but agreed to tear up the final months of his contract.
Ozil had always been expected to leave in the January transfer window. Once the pay-off has been officially confirmed, Ozil would be able to sign for another club as a free agent. The final few details should be ironed out smoothly.
Major League Soccer’s DC United had been strongly linked with a move for the former Germany international. However, Fenerbahce are now believed to be leading the race to sign Ozil.
Ozil started the first 10 games under Mikel Arteta following his appointment in December 2019. However, he has Ozil has not featured since a 1-0 win over West Ham before the coronavirus pandemic saw football grind to a halt.
He was omitted from Arsenal’s Premier League and Europa League squads. That led to Arteta and technical director Edu insisting the decision to do so was down to footballing reasons.
Ozil was criticised in some quarters when he refused to take a pay-cut during the summer with no football being played and Arsenal looking to balance the books.
He had signed his current deal in January 2018 to become the highest-paid player in the club’s history. However, the one-time club-record signing now looks set to depart on a free.
Mourinho fires Ozil rebuke
Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho has hit back at Ozil after the Arsenal playmaker fired a parting shot Spurs’ way as his exit nears.
With his lack of playing time, Ozil has become more vocal on social media in recent months. He recently hosted a Q&A for his followers.
When quizzed on whether he would rather play for Tottenham or hang up his boots, the Express cite him as saying: “Easy question. Retire!”
Predictably, that jab did not go down well with Mourinho.
Speaking earlier this week, the Portuguese firebrand retorted: “Who told him that Tottenham would be interested in signing him?”
The pair have endured a strained relationship at times. Ozil previously detailed an incident in his autobiography at Real Madrid in which Mourinho questioned the star’s commitment and effort levels.