In Brief

Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil wanted by Inter and AC Milan

Italian rivals join Fenerbahce in the race to sign the German midfielder

Inter Milan and AC Milan have joined the race for Arsenal “outcast” Mesut Ozil. 

Last week it was reported that Turkish outfit Fenerbahce were lining up a loan deal for the midfielder, but according to Italian outlet Calciomercato it’s to Serie A that the 30-year-old could be heading in January.

Describing Ozil as having “fallen out” with Gunners gaffer Unai Emery, the Daily Mirror says that the two Italian giants are both exploring the possibility of doing a deal for the German.

Stumbling block?

Ozil has been edged out of the Arsenal first team this season and it’s clear that he is not part of Emery’s long-term plans. But his £350,000-a-week contract runs until 2021 and Ozil is in no rush to say goodbye to the Emirates. 

It’s those wages that could yet “provide a stumbling block” to any possible deal with either Inter or AC Milan. But it’s believed Arsenal are so desperate to jettison the German that they are willing to loan him out until June by “still paying or supplementing his pay cheque until the end of the season”.

If all goes well, then the loan deal would become permanent next summer and he would finally be off Arsenal’s hands.

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Hard work rewarded

The Mirror quotes Arsenal head of football Raul Sanllehi denying at the weekend that there is a problem between Ozil and Emery. 

“There is nothing against Mesut… and I hope we get to see him much more in the next games because his qualities are without question,” said Sanllehi. 

“Unai has had many good players in other teams also, and he has always followed the same policy. That is to try not to make any distinctions, play the ones who work hard in training and reward the effort with playing time.” 

24/7 contribution

It was then that Sanllehi suggested what could be behind Ozil’s gradual ostracisation this season.

“He needs to contribute 24/7 and that’s what Unai expects from him,” he said. “It’s not that he’s not working so well, but there are others who are deserving more playing time, but Unai can’t treat him differently than any other player.” 

Trip to Bramall Lane next

Arsenal are next in Premier League action on Monday 21 October when they travel to Sheffield United. The match kicks off at 8pm and is live on Sky Sports.

Premier League fixtures

Saturday 19 October (3pm unless stated)
  • Everton vs. West Ham United (12.30pm, live on BT Sport) 
  • Aston Villa vs. Brighton & Hove Albion  
  • AFC Bournemouth vs. Norwich City  
  • Chelsea vs. Newcastle United  
  • Leicester City vs. Burnley  
  • Tottenham Hotspur vs. Watford  
  • Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Southampton  
  • Crystal Palace vs. Manchester City (5.30pm, live on Sky Sports)
Sunday 20 October
  • Manchester United vs. Liverpool (4.30pm, live on Sky Sports)
Monday 21 October
  • Sheffield United vs. Arsenal (8pm, live on Sky Sports)

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––For analysis of the biggest sport stories - and a concise, refreshing and balanced take on the week’s news - try The Week magazine–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

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