Mesut Ozil has been linked with a possible January move to Inter Milan after his total omission from the Gunners' squad for Wednesday night's Carabao Cup quarterfinal exit against Tottenham brought about fresh speculation about his future.
Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil has been linked with a possible January move to ambitious Serie A side Inter after his total omission from the Gunners' squad for Wednesday night's Carabao Cup quarterfinal exit against Tottenham brought about fresh speculation about his future.
Ozil at last signed a new long-term Arsenal contract 11 months ago to make him the club's highest paid player on reported wages of £350,000-per-week. But the German appears to be out of favor with manager Unai Emery, who prefers a high energy style from his players.
Ozil was dropped at the end of August and again in October. He then returned to the team and had a mesmeric performance as captain when Arsenal beat Leicester, but lacklustre outings in the weeks that followed, still as captain, appeared to lose him the trust of Emery.
The 2014 World Cup winner was subsequently left on the bench when the Gunners travelled to Bournemouth last month and then missed three games, including huge clashes against Tottenham and Manchester United after complaining of back trouble.
Ozil then played just 20 minutes off the bench as a substitute in the recent 3-2 loss against Southampton and was out of the squad altogether for the match against Tottenham.
A report from the Daily Mail notes that Inter are among several clubs 'still interested' in Ozil, with the newspaper describing Emery's decision to drop the German for tactical reasons as the 'biggest hint yet' that he is willing to cut Ozil loose.
In a big derby game against Spurs that could have seen Arsenal move a step closer to winning major silverware, Emery felt his highest paid player wasn't necessary, yet the line-up did include Aaron Ramsey, a player who refused to sign a new contract and will be leaving in summer.
Emery avoided questions about Ozil's Arsenal future after the game.
"My focus now is analyzing this match and also Saturday against Burnley is very important. We are going to assess every player, how they are tomorrow in training and for a difficult match against Burnley on Saturday," he said, via Arsenal.com, when asked if Ozil could soon leave.
"I am thinking about the match on Saturday, and not thinking about another situation."