Arsenal have reportedly offered exiled midfielder Mesut Ozil to Juventus on loan.
Ozil, 32, is out of contract at the end of the season and his agent has continually insisted he will not be leaving Arsenal before his deal expires.
However, it now appears the Gunners are prepared to let Ozil leave the club for nothing in January in order to reduce their wage bill.
According to Tuttosport , the two clubs have been in contact over a potential deal, with Arsenal willing to subsidise some of Ozil’s £350,000-per-week wages should he go on loan.
The report claims it could even be a 50/50 split, with Ozil’s representative, Dr Erkut Sogut, working to drive the price down in order to get his client back on the field as soon as possible.
Previously it looked unlikely Ozil would leave Arsenal in January, even on a free transfer, as he still stands to pocket more than eight million in wages before tax – a figure he would not receive elsewhere.
Also by holding out on a move, Ozil widens the net of potential suitors once his contract expires on June 30.
A loan switch to Juventus could therefore suit all parties, with the Italian club able to acquire Ozil’s services for the next six months on a fraction of his current salary, while he would still be free to move on in the summer.
Arsenal’s willingness to financially support a loan is key to any agreement, but with Ozil currently sitting on the sidelines, recouping any cash would be a bonus.
The win over Chelsea on Boxing Day has reduced the clamour for Ozil to be reinstated in the Arsenal first team, which remains an unlikely possibility anyhow.
Mikel Arteta seems to have no interest in bringing Ozil back into the fold and, as has been reported, risk dividing the dressing room.