Arsenal are planning talks with highest earner Mesut Ozil in which they will ask the German midfielder to accept a massive pay-off to leave the club, according to reports.
Despite playing frequently at the start of Mikel Arteta’s reign in north London – and even leading their chances created charts for the season – Ozil was frozen out after the season restarted.
The German did not make a single appearance in any competition and did not even travel with the team to Wembley for the FA Cup final, with ‘back soreness’ given as the official explanation for his absences.
But Ozil repeatedly made it clear he was ‘ready’ to play and his exile is believed to revolve around the Arsenal hierarchy’s desire to offload him this summer.
The 31-year-old, who refused to take a pay cut with the rest of the squad, still has a year left on his £350,000-a-week wages and is prepared to stay at Arsenal even if he will not play a single minute of football next season.
Arsenal had hoped they would find a buyer, with clubs in MLS and Turkey both interested, but so far no offers have materialised.
Now The Mirror report that Arsenal will make a new push to get rid of Ozil and will offer to pay him off, with the club hoping to tempt him with a lump sump that is less than the £18m he is due to earn over the next year.
As another alternative, they will also offer to subsidise part of his £350,000-a-week wages if he moves to another club this summer, with the Gunners willing to forfeit any transfer fee too.
Ozil will take some convincing, though, with the World Cup winner happy to sit tight and make a free transfer next summer when his contract expires.
Arsenal are in something of a financial bind due to the size of their wage bill coupled with the fallout of the coronavirus crisis.
The north London club are keen to make significant additions to the squad but need to raise funds from selling players, as well as chopping their wage bill, in order to do so.
Arsenal have made a sizeable contract offer to Chelsea free agent Willian and are also close to agreeing a new £300,000-a-week deal with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, while they have also been linked with Lille centre-back Gabriel and Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho.
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