Mikel Arteta insists he "tried his best" to resurrect Mesut Ozil's career at Arsenal and was "patient" and "fair" in his treatment of the German midfielder.
Ozil has been omitted from the Gunners' Premier League and Europa League squads and it appears unlikely he will ever feature for the club again.
The 32-year-old enjoyed a spell with the first-team before lockdown though he has not played since football returned in the summer.
Ozil and his agent have entered a war of words with the club – but Arteta has once again hit back by saying he treated the World Cup winner with "respect".
"What I can tell you that I tried my best, I tried to give him as many opportunities as I could," the Arsenal boss told Sky Sports.
"And that from my own side, I’ve been patient, given him opportunities and been fair.
"He’s a player that belongs to a football club, he’s been a really important player in the last few seasons. I have to respect that, I’m here to make decisions, the best decisions for the team and for the club.
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"This is what I try to do and then I have to explain them because people need the reasons and the right answers. I just give mine, whether they believe me or agree with me or not, there’s nothing I can do.
"But I have to put my decisions, with my heart and with my brain to make the right decisions that I believe are good."
Ozil's hostilities with Arsenal were escalated as he hit out at a lack of loyalty after his omission from the Premier League squad.
"This is a difficult message to write to the Arsenal fans that I've played for over the past few years. I'm really deeply disappointed by the fact that I have not been registered for the Premier League season for the time being," Ozil said on social media.
"Upon signing my new contract in 2018, I pledged my loyalty and allegiance to the club that I love, Arsenal, and it saddens me that this has not been reciprocated. As I have just found out, loyalty is hard to come by nowadays."
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