No talks to terminate Mesut Ozil's Arsenal contract - sources

Arsenal have not discussed terminating Mesut Ozil's contract at any stage and the 31-year-old will not consider prematurely ending the final year of his deal, sources have told ESPN.

Reports had suggested the Gunners had opened talks to buy out the midfielder's £350,000-a-week contract after leaving him out of their 25-man squad for the Europa League.

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However, sources close to the player have told ESPN that the club have not entered into any such negotiations and Ozil is focused on regaining a place in manager Mikel Arteta's team for the competitions for which he is eligible.

Arsenal have yet to respond to an ESPN request to comment.

The German World Cup winner was an integral part of Arteta's plans before football's suspension in March due to COVID-19.

Ozil started all 10 Premier League games between Arteta's appointment in December and the nationwide lockdown in March, but had not featured since the club asked its first-team squad to take a 12.5% pay cut.

Ozil was one of three players to decline the offer amid concerns about a lack of detail over how the money would be used and whether the move would guarantee no future redundancies. Despite being fully fit and available for selection, he has not made a single match-day squad this season.

The club subsequently announced in August that 55 non-playing staff members would lose their jobs as part of a streamlining process that reflected the financial pressures of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Gunners also confirmed this week that Jerry Quy, the man who has played club mascot Gunnersaurus for 27 years, would be leaving the post with no fans currently allowed inside stadiums.

Ozil offered to cover his salary and although some viewed this as a PR stunt, sources have told ESPN that the pair have formed a bond since he arrived at Arsenal from Real Madrid in a then club-record £42.4 million transfer in 2013.

Ozil would regularly invite underprivileged or sick children to his box on matchdays at Emirates Stadium with Gunnersaurus a regular visitor to enhance the experience.

It remains to be seen whether Arsenal decide to omit Ozil from their 25-man squad for the Premier League -- clubs have until Oct. 20 to make a final decision -- but the player remains hopeful he can revive his career in north London in the coming months.