Arsenal have been tipped to try and get rid of under-performing top earner Mesut Ozil when the transfer market re-opens in January, with the Gunners also linked with an ambitious move for 20-year-old Norwegian starlet Martin Odegaard.
It seems clear that Ozil is not part of manager Unai Emery’s plans, with the former Germany international playing just once in the Premier League so far this season.
Having started in the 2-2 draw with Watford, Ozil was benched for the subsequent win over Aston Villa. He then captained the side in the Carabao Cup against Championship opposition, only to be left out of the squad altogether when the Gunners faced Manchester United.
According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal are ‘open’ to loan or permanent offers for the soon-to-be 31-year-old, although there is apparently concern that it won’t be straightforward to move him on.
Ozil is thought to earn £350,000-per-week after signing a new long-term contract in 2018, a figure that is described by the report as a ‘huge drain’ on Arsenal’s finances.
The club would apparently be willing to subsidise his wages if it would make an exit easier to arrange, but the player could ‘sit tight’ – his current deal doesn’t expire until June 2021.
That being said, Ozil is said to have been ‘affected’ by security concerns that begin with a violent attempted carjacking in August, with teammate and close friend Sead Kolasinac bravely fighting off knife-wielding thieves with his bare hands. Whether fears for his personal safety could lead the former Real Madrid star to contemplate leaving north London remains to be seen.
Should Ozil leave Arsenal in the relatively near future, fans would expect the club to dip into the transfer market to build for a new future, and one Spanish report has already linked the Gunners with interest in the aforementioned Odegaard, who is still contracted to Real Madrid.
The Norway international rose to global prominence at the age of 15 when he joined Los Blancos, but he is now beginning to fulfil his potential on loan at Real Sociedad.
El Desmarque alleges that Arsenal are eyeing Odegaard as a potential replacement for Ozil, although the report notes that Real would be unlikely to sell for less than €80m (£71m). There is apparently also interest from Manchester City, who may view the youngster as a replacement for David Silva, as well as Borussia Dortmund, Inter and Atletico Madrid.
Last month, the Daily Mirror claimed that Wolves are also interested, but the fee cited was only £20m (€22.5m), which is obviously a vastly different sum from what El Desmarque have said.