Mikel Arteta has confirmed Mesut Ozil can leave Arsenal this month if an agreement is reached which suits all parties and says the midfielder was given permission to miss recent training sessions due to personal reasons.
The 32-year-old playmaker – Arsenal’s top earner on eye-watering wages of £350,000-a-week – has been frozen out of Arteta’s plans this season and looks certain to have played his final match for the club given his contract expires in the summer.
Recent reports suggest Ozil could be on his way to the United States, with MLS outfit DC United in talks over a stunning transfer, and the German’s agent claims his future will become clearer over the coming days.
Pressed on the recent speculation on Thursday, Arteta said: ‘If something is sorted this month it’s because it’s good for both parties: because it’s good for Mesut and his future and because it’s good for the club.
‘If that’s the case, we will move forward. If it’s not the case, the player will continue here.’
Ozil skipping recent training sessions fuelled rumours of a possible move this winter but Arteta played some the significance of the World Cup winner’s absence at London Colney.
‘He’s been training with us but he had some days because we decided to give him some days for something personal,’ the Arsenal head coach said.
‘That’s the case but he’s been training with us all the time.’
The Spaniard continued: ‘We are aware of all the conversations that we had with Mesut, internally and with his agent.
‘And this communication keeps going and of course because from now on he’s free to talk to any club.
‘He’s entitled to do that as well.’
Arsenal begin their defence of the FA Cup at home to Newcastle United this weekend and Arteta said the club’s recent wins had significantly improved the ‘spirit and energy’ inside the camp ahead of the third-round tie.
‘It’s great to win the last three games obviously,’ he added.
‘The spirit the energy around the place, the vibe is always better. I’ve been better myself.
‘Over this Christmas period to win three games in a row is never easy in this league. And we’ve done it and hopefully we can pick a much better run.’
Asked whether he plans to field a strong team at the Emirates, Arteta said: ‘Absolutely. We’re going to go after every competition.
‘We are the holders we have to defend that title. ‘We know what it means for the football club and the history that is related to the FA Cup.
‘It’s a great competition to play for us.’
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