Despite rumors suggesting the club has offered him an £18-million payoff to leave the London club, Arsenal midfield misfit Ozil said he has no intention of leaving the club before the end of his contract.
Speaking to The Athletic, Ozil said, “My position is clear. I’m here through to the last day of our agreement and I’ll give everything I have for this club.
“Situations like these will never break me, they only make me stronger.
“I showed in the past that I can come back into the team and I will show it again.”
Ozil has 12 months left on his existing deal, which pays him around $460,000 a week, and has made clear he intends to earn every cent of it before departing the London club.
Even the reported offer of a $23.6 million payoff hasn’t shifted Ozil’s stance, despite the German being frozen out of first-team affairs under new Gunners boss Mikel Arteta.
“I’ll decide when I go, not other people,” he said in defiance.
“I didn’t sign for two or three years, I signed for four and that should be respected by everyone.
“Things have obviously been difficult, but I love Arsenal, I love to work there, I love the people in the club — the real people, those I’ve been with for a long time — and I love London, it’s my home.”
His comments attracted a range of responses on social media, with one fan expressing the pragmatic view offered by many, saying, “I wouldn’t blame him, he’s on £350k a week for doing nothing.”
But other fans were less sympathetic to his situation. One fan commented, “Sad state of affairs. His lack of ambition and unwillingness to find game time elsewhere will be remembered. There are players desperate to play, and there are those happy to just sit on the bench and take a wage (Ozil, Bale etc). Money has corrupted the modern day footballer.”
Meanwhile, another fan referenced the club’s recent series of redundancies alongside Ozil’s stance, saying, “55 staff being made redundant & he refused to take a pay cut. He has the talent but cannot be bothered. His attitude stinks. Any other job you’d be performance managed & sacked without any financial compensation. He knows he can get away with it….typical football….arrogance.”