Mesut Ozil is staying with Arsenal despite not getting many minutes of playing time since the Premier League restart. The German playmaker has reportedly confided to friends his plan of seeing out his contract, notwithstanding the suggestion that he is no longer part of Mikel Arteta's game plan.
Ozil has yet to appear in an Arsenal game since the season resumed, and speculation is rife the club is keen to sell him. However, leaving in the summer doesn't seem like a viable option, and reports have said he is ready to sit out until the end of his contract in June 2021.
Metro reported that Ozil's camp will not press for a summer switch, indicating that the midfielder will only consider offers from MLS clubs and Turkish giants Fenerbahce when his commitment with Arsenal ends.
In choosing that route, the German will walk away for free, which will give him enough leverage to negotiate for a favorable deal with a new club.
But for Arsenal, the decision means paying for Ozil's salary over the next 12 months – some £18 million – with no assurance that he will deliver quality play on the pitch.
If the Ozil plan plays out, he will be getting regular paychecks while weighing his options on where to play next. By January, the former Real Madrid star can start pre-negotiations with clubs outside of the Premier League.
The 31-year-old has already made clear that playing in the United States or Turkey isn't a real option, since he doesn't believe he's at the end of his career.
It's not hard to imagine that the setup is disadvantageous for Arsenal, so former Gunners star Martin Keown called on his old club to take the initiative and ship off Ozil. The German, after all, has appeared unwilling to play for Arteta's side, Keown added.
"I don't think he does [have a future] and I think really this summer now they may see the player being paid off, because I think now it's about protecting the next generation," the Standard reported the club legend as saying.
Keown explained that paying now to discard Ozil is the better option, as doing so will allow Arsenal to promote a strict work ethic that is no longer seen with the concerned player.
It would seem that Ozil is not interested in winning a spot on the Arsenal first-team and the lack of hard work on his part should prompt the club to move for his transfer out of the Emirates, Keown said, adding that it's a shame to lose "a magnificent talent."