Mesut Ozil’s seven-and-a-half year stay at Arsenal will finally end in the next few days as the two parties are set to agree on the termination of his $475,000-a-week contract.
That will free Ozil to join Fenerbahce, who have beaten competition from MLS franchises including D.C. United to secure the 32-year-old’s signature. There has long been reciprocal interest between the Turkish giants and Ozil, who grew up supporting the club.
Ozil had been due to earn a further $9.5million before his contract expired and although there is an agreement in principle between all parties that he will move to Fenerbahce there is still the matter of how much of his remaining salary Arsenal will pay to be ironed out. An agreement on that is close however and the German is free to travel to Istanbul and conclude matters ahead of his move.
The 32-year-old had been left out of Arsenal’s Premier League and Europa League squads at the start of the season having not played a minute of first-team football since May. Despite the Gunners work to trim back an oversized first-team there was no indication that manager Mikel Arteta would bring Ozil back in the fold, a matter which prompted the player and his representatives to soften their stance that they would see out their contract in full.
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Ozil has been the highest-paid player at the Emirates Stadium since signing his near half a million dollar a week contract in 2018, terms that have become an ever greater financial burden as Arsenal failed to qualify for the Champions League. Within a year of agreeing those terms the club hierarchy were looking for ways to get Ozil, who struggled for consistent game time under Unai Emery and Arteta, off the wage bill.
Since signing his new contract Ozil has played 73 games for Arsenal, scoring 8 goals and providing 13 assists. In total he leaves north London with a record of 44 goals and 77 assists in 254 appearances. He won three FA Cups in that period and was named the club’s player of the year in 2015-16.