Unai Emery has informed Mesut Özil that it would be best for him to leave the club, according to the reliable David Ornstein on BBC 5 Live.
Ornstein spoke on the BBC’s radio show on Wednesday night, and he discussed the developing situation between Arsenal’s head coach and the club’s star playmaker.
“They’re not just rumours,” Ornstein said (via Arseblog News). “Unai Emery has suggested to Mesut Ozil that it would be best for him to leave the club. And the hierarchy of the club feels that they would like him to move on.
“I think that’s mainly financially driven for a player earning £350,000 per week but also related to that is the fact he is not performing anywhere near the level when he has played on a consistent basis as we know he can produce from the past.”
However, Ornstein then went on to add that the German midfielder wants to remain at the club. He explained that the 30-year-old is working hard to get fit, and he has strong relationships with many people at the club. Just not the head coach, apparently.
“He has no desire to leave, Mesut Ozil, so he won’t be leaving in the January transfer window,” Ornstein continued. “I’m told he’s working extremely hard to get himself fit. Reports coming out of London Colney is that he’s now doing extra gym work and he has a positive demeanour. He’s determined to work his way back into the side.
“The word was he wasn’t doing a lot of the extra work most players were, and he is now. I’ve heard positive things about his behaviour, his commitment, his relationships with the teammates.
“I don’t think that’s ever been a problem, but he’s clearly out of favour with the manager and that’s a very expensive problem for the club to have.”
Normally, you should take rumours about behind-the-scenes clashes between players and coaches with a pinch of salt. There are very few on the outside of the club who really know what’s going on inside.
However, Ornstein has generally been a good source of Özil-related news. He exclusively revealed the player’s new contract before anyone else had the story this time last year.
The situation is vaguely reminiscent of the recent clash between Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba. Both clearly didn’t want to work with each other, but they stuck around anyway in the hope that they’d outlast the other at the club. Eventually, Pogba got his wish as Mourinho was fired, and he’s been in great form ever since.
Hopefully, the dispute between Emery and Özil doesn’t have to go that far, but it’s certainly not going in a very positive direction right now.