MIKEL ARTETA has vowed Arsenal will not terminate Mesut Ozil’s contract – but he will wait until the transfer window closes before deciding on a recall.
The £350,000-a-week German World Cup winner has not played a second for the Gunners this term.
Arteta left the 32-year-old winger out of both his Premier League and European squads as he appeared to try and force him out of the Emirates.
Ozil has now entered the final six months of his deal and is free to talk to clubs abroad, with clubs in the MLS and Turkey both linked with the ex-Real Madrid man.
Due to his wages, a move away this month looks unlikely, with the attacker declaring already he wants to stay until the summer and fight for his place.
Up until their mini revival over the festive period, Arsenal had struggled for form, with some believing that could lead to Ozil coming back into the fold when Arteta names his 25-man squads for domestic competitions and the Europa League at the end of this month.
But even though boss Arteta is adamant they will not offer him a golden handshake to walk away over the coming weeks, he was non-committal over his chances of getting back into his side.
Speaking ahead of Arsenal’s trip to West Brom tonight, he said: “We will see what happens in the transfer window and we will assess at the end of that.
“You have to respect the players’ contracts.
“You can just try to be open with them, tell them your intentions, the role that they have in the team and why that is.”
He added: “Some would like to move because they are not playing and some would like to stay. That’s something we cannot decide by ourselves.
“When a player doesn’t play, it is really difficult to be happy.
“There are players that don’t play at all, they know they are not going to have any chance. That is tough mentally for them, to maintain that motivation and positivity around the place for a lot of months. That’s a big task.”
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