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MESUT OZIL is preparing to leave Arsenal for free when his contract expires next summer, according to reports in Germany.
The 28-year-old has not spoken to club officials about a new deal since negotiations broke down in February.
That came amid uncertainty surrounding manager Arsene Wenger’s future at The Emirates stadium.
It is understood that Arsenal offered Ozil a £8.1million-per-year contract to stay at the club.
But, amid Paris Saint-Germain’s interest in under-fire Wenger, all long-term planning was called off.
Wenger eventually signed a two-year deal to stay in North London.
And Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis claimed that keeping both Ozil and Alexis Sanchez at the club was “a clear statement of our ambitions.”
But it now seems as though the Gunners will not recoup any of the £42m paid to Real Madrid for Ozil’s services four years ago when he walks away for nothing at the end of the season.
Asked if he was comfortable with Ozil being in the final 12 months of his contract, Wenger said:
“Yes, I think in the future you will see it more and more.
“Why? Because the transfers are so high even for normal players, you will see more and more players going into the final year of the contract.
“No club will want to pay the amount demanded. I’m convinced in the next ten years it will become usual.”
And Wenger does not believe that Ozil’s performances will be compromised amid speculation around his future.
“When you’re a football player you perform until the last day of your contract. Whether you have two or one year left it doesn’t change,” he said.
“You want to play and do well. Do you really think they sit in the dressing room and think, ‘Oh, I have one year to go I will not play well today’.
“Where does that come from? When you are a football player you want to play well, what does that have to do with the length of your contract. It’s amazing.”