Arsenal are reportedly still forking out to pay more than 90% of Mesut Ozil’s old salary even though he is now playing for Fenerbahce.
The 32-year-old midfielder agreed to mutually terminate his Arsenal contract in January after being frozen out of first team affairs by manager Mikel Arteta.
Ozil’s deal was due to expire in the summer but he opted to cut short his time at the Emirates to complete a move to boyhood club Fenerbahce on reduced terms.
A key stumbling block in the negotiations with Gunners chiefs was his extortionate £350,000 per week wage, and it appears the club are still funding the lions share of that package months after his departure.
The Athletic reports Arsenal are committed to paying that amount until the end of June – the original date of Ozil’s contract expiry.
Ozil’s fortunes in Turkey have not fared much better than the end of his Gunners career thus far, featuring on just seven occasions for the club since his move.
During those appearances he has failed to register a single goal or assist and is now recovering from a knee injury sustained last month, while earning around £46,000 from his Fenerbahce contract.
Things at Arsenal have hardly been much better in Ozil’s absence mind, though Arteta has managed to fill the creative void with loan star Martin Odegaard and youngster Emile Smith Rowe.
Both players have shared the duties in the No.10 role, with Smith Rowe now in line for a new contract.
Arsenal are said to have opened talks with the 20-year-old in a bid to tie him down to the club long term, with Odegaard not expected to extend his loan stay beyond the end of the season.
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Meanwhile Ozil provided a timely reminder of his Arsenal allegiances to the club’s fans on Sunday, mocking fierce rivals Tottenham over their Carabao Cup final defeat to Manchester City.
Tweeting after the result left Spurs still waiting for a first trophy since 2008, Ozil said: “It remains dusty #LeagueCupFinal.”