Arsenal’s outcast, Mesut Ozil is in advanced talks to join Istanbul club, Fenerbahce, according to Turkish media reports on Wednesday.
Ozil, who joined the Gunners from Real Madrid in 2013, has been out of Mikel Arteta’s plans since he took charge.
The door has been open for his exit since last year and Ozil has now agreed to make the move to Turkey where he has strong links.
The reports came after the 32-year-old, a World Cup winner with Germany in 2014, fanned speculation by tweeting a photograph of himself in Istanbul with the words: “This city … #throwback #Istanbul.”
Sports daily Fanatik reported that Fenerbahce chairman Ali Koc and team director Emre Belozoglu flew to London to persuade the player to make the move.
He has been firmly out of favour at the Emirates under Arteta and hasn’t played a single game all season after being left out of both official squads for the Premier League and Europa League.
Arteta hinted recently that Arsenal’s big earners would have to leave the club in January, adding, “We cannot sustain the numbers we have.”
Ozil had been happy to see out his current deal, which was due to expire in the summer.
Arsene Wenger, who was the manager who signed Ozil from Real Madrid in 2013 for then a club-record fee of £42million, suggested last month that Arteta should work with the midfielder to help him rediscover his best form.
Wenger worked with Ozil at Arsenal for five years – a period in which the club won the FA Cup three times – and remains the only manager at the Emirates to get the best out of the 2014 World Cup winner.
Wenger told ESPN’s Caught Offside podcast, “He was not difficult to manage. He was a guy who had a special quality as a creative player and needed to have fun.
“He is an artist and these guys are a bit more sensitive. They need support and an environment that pushes them to give their best.
“You have two ways to see a football team. You get everybody to do the same – the same intensity of work, the same defensive work – or you find a compromise.
“You have a more creative player in the team who can do less defensive work but you build a team around him who can compensate for these deficiencies. That is what you have to think about.”
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