Over the past few weeks, there has been intense speculation that Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil could be set to leave the London club to join AC Milan. While the transfer would benefit both clubs, it seems that the German international is reluctant to leave.
The revelations came after a recent interview where Ozil said that Arsenal is his home. If he stays with the Gunners, Milan would have to look elsewhere for experience in the midfield.
The Italian club has had a bad start to the season, and the club is currently languishing in 13th place in the Serie A table. As a result, many bookmakers are already giving long odds for Milan in the European football next season.
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Why does Ozil want to stay at Arsenal?
Mesut Ozil recently played a behind-doors match for Arsenal against Reading during the international break. After the game, the 31-year old interviewed with The Athletic where he announced his firm intentions to stay with the North London club.
Ozil said ‘I have a contract until the summer of 2021 and I will be staying until then.’ He went on to say that he had thought long and hard about signing a new deal with Arsenal and that he wanted to commit his future to the club, rather than just a couple of years.
The German international admitted that he had endured ‘difficult times’ with Arsenal, but said that he is committed to the Premier League side even after the exit of long-time boss Arsene Wenger.
It should also be mentioned that Ozil’s extravagant wages could see him lengthening his stay at the Emirates. The midfielder currently earns a staggering £350,000 a week with his current contract, and it’s hard to see any of his potential new clubs matching this figure.
Friction between Ozil and Arsenal boss Unai Emery
Ozil suffered an indifferent time in the Premier League last season, and much of that was down to the fact that he didn’t get on with Arsenal boss Unai Emery. The manager has once again sidelined Ozil for much of the Gunners’ 2019/20 Premier League campaign.
At the time of writing, Ozil had only played two full matches this season. Just one of these was a Premier League match that saw Arsenal throwing away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 away to lowly Watford.
Arsenal has attempted to gloss over the fractious relationship. Their head of football Raul Sanllehi said that ‘There is nothing against Mesut.’ However, Sanllehi did go onto make a few remarks that questioned whether the midfielder was contributing 24/7 to the Arsenal campaign.
Other clubs in the hunt for Mesut Ozil
There is no questioning Ozil’s footballing talent. The 31-year can be an inspired playmaker, and his experience would undoubtedly benefit the current struggling Milan side. It would be interesting to see how Ozil would fit in under Stefano Pioli, but his move is far from being a foregone conclusion.
This is primarily a difficulty, as there are already questions about whether Milan could afford Ozil in the January transfer window. And this means that other top European clubs could jump at the chance to bag the midfielder.
Inter Milan is one of the few clubs that could realistically afford Ozil’s wage demands, and the Serie A team have already expressed an interest. There’s also the chance that the midfielder may head to Turkey in the winter transfer period.
Fenerbahce have reportedly opened talks with Arsenal about a possible loan deal, and the North London club are apparently willing to loan Ozil out until June while supplementing his wages until the end of the season.