Mesut Ozil's Arsenal career looks set to end in the "next few days", with a decision on his future expected soon, according to Mikel Arteta. (More Football News)
Reports emerged this week claiming Ozil was in talks with MLS franchise DC United and Turkish side Fenerbahce, whom the former Real Madrid star is said to have supported as a child.
Ozil joined Arsenal from Los Blancos in 2013 and provided 54 assists in 184 Premier League appearances for the club – in the same period, only Kevin De Bruyne (74), David Silva (63) and Christian Eriksen (62) have created more goals than the German World Cup winner.
However, he has laid on just two since the start of 2019-20, as he fell out of favour again under Arteta despite the Spaniard initially appearing set on building the team around Ozil.
With his contract up at the end of the season, the 32-year-old is now able to negotiate a free transfer, though for any deal to go through this month, Arsenal will need to be involved in negotiations.
Reports in Turkey have claimed a deal with Fenerbahce has already been agreed, and while Arteta would not confirm whether this was the truth, he did state a decision is expected very soon.
146 – Mesut Özil holds the record for most chances created in a single Premier League season (2015-16) analysed by Opta, since 1997. Transfer? pic.twitter.com/cay85eAQS2— OptaJack (@OptaJack) January 5, 2021
"I don't know what's going to happen," Arteta told reporters on Thursday. "Now he's free to negotiate with other clubs, we will discuss internally the best situation for him, for the near future, with the player and the agent and try to find the best solution for everybody.
"Every player wants to play football, this is why we picked this profession. We are so lucky to be doing what we do, so for every player not playing, it is hard.
"We will decide what happens in the next few days."
Ozil's position at Arsenal has long been a source of contention, with some supporters adamant he should not have been excluded from the Premier League squad at the start of the season, while others have routinely urged him to leave for his own good but to also release the Gunners from the pressure of his substantial wages.
Arteta appeared optimistic about the situation, though did accept Ozil could yet stay for the time being.
"If something is sorted this month it's because it's good for both parties; good for Mesut and his future, and good for the club," he continued.
"If that's the case, we will move forward. If it's not the case, the player will remain here.
"He's been training with us, but he had some days [off] because we decided to give him some days for something personal, but he's been training with us all the time.
"We are aware of all the conversations with Mesut internally and his agent, and this communication keeps going. From now on he's free to talk to any club."
One player who appears to be on his way into the club is 19-year-old Hertha Berlin defender Omar Rekik.
The defender, who has represented Netherlands and Tunisia at youth level, spent much of his formative years following older brother Karim between clubs, going from Manchester City to PSV, Marseille and then Hertha, but he did not go with the 26-year-old to Sevilla last year.
The teenager was spotted training with Arsenal on Wednesday and Arteta says a deal is expected to be announced soon.
When asked if it could be completed on Thursday, Arteta said: "I don't know. Very soon. We will announce it when we can, we will give more details when we can."
Rekik will reportedly cost just under £1million.