Mesut Ozil has made it clear he will not be retiring after leaving Arsenal and wants to play for Fenerbahce or in Major League Soccer.
The 32-year-old has been frozen out of the Gunners first team this season. He was not included in either the Premier League or Europa League squads and an exit seems inevitable.
The writing was on the wall last season when his game time diminished significantly to just 18 league appearances. The former Germany international has enjoyed 254 outings for the north Londoners since joining in 2013.
At his best, he was able to carve open opposition defences with pinpoint passes. The trade off was a player who did not appear to contribute much to the defensive side of the game.
But he could get the fans out of their seats and scored 44 times for the club. One stumbling block to finding a new club is his wages.
Said to earn £350,000 per week, it is tough to find an employer willing to pay that for a player the wrong side of 30. Reports clam he is willing to take a significant pay cut to facilitate a move.
A proposed deal to lessen Arsenal’s financial burden towards him might help.
Ozil has not featured since March but has been active on social media. He held a question and answer session on Twitter on Monday.
He stressed it is his intention to continue playing and head to one of two nations.
“I definitely will,” he said. “There are two countries I want to play football in before I retire: Turkey and USA. If I went to Turkey, I could only go to Fenerbahce.”
Fener link won’t go away
Ozil’s comments will only increase speculation that his future lies with Fenerbahce. His Turkish roots mean that the pull to that country is strong, with the Yellow Canaries his top choice.
“I grew up as a Fenerbahce fan as a kid in Germany,” he added. “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 the country.”
The USA remains an option and DC United have been mentioned as a possible destination. The former Real Madrid man could follow a plethora of Premier League stars who have seen out their careers stateside.
But Fenerbahce seems more likely, if all parties concerned can come up with a financial package to suit.
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