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Mesut Ozil’s brother has fuelled speculation the exiled Arsenal midfielder is on the verge of ending his seven-and-a-half-year stay at the Emirates ahead of a looming move to Fenerbahce.
The 32-year-old, who is the club’s highest earner on £350,000, has not played for the Gunners since March after being frozen out by manager Mikel Arteta, not even being registered in their Premier League and Europa League squads.
Ozil’s contract with Arsenal expires in the summer and he had been expected to see out the remainder of his deal before leaving on a free transfer, though the prospect of a January switch has increased in recent days.
Reports emerged last week of a lucrative offer from MLS side DC United, with the American club even promising to help expand his M10 brand, but it is Fenerbahce who appear to have won the race for Ozil’s signature.
Sky Germany claim Ozil is on the verge of agreeing a three-and-a-half-year contract with the Istanbul-based outfit and Fenerbahce are in talks with Arsenal about signing the World Cup winner on a free transfer this month.
Now Ozil’s brother, Mutlu, has dropped a massive hint that the playmaker is on his way to Turkey with a not-so-cryptic post on Instagram.
On Saturday evening, he uploaded a picture of the Fenerbahce badge to his Instagram stories along with a ‘winking face’ emoji, with eagled-eyed fans convinced it means Ozil’s Arsenal departure is now imminent.
The only thing likely to hold up the deal now is whether Ozil insists on the final six months of his contract – worth around £9m – being paid up by Arsenal, with Arteta stressing recently that a transfer needs to suit the Gunners as well as the player.
‘I don’t know what is going to happen. Obviously now he’s free to negotiate with other clubs,’ said the Arsenal boss.
‘We will discuss internally what the best situation for him is for the near future, obviously with the player and the agent too, and try to find the best solution for everyone.
‘If something was sorted this month, it’s because it is good for both parties, it is good for Mesut and his future, and it’s good for the club. If that’s the case, we will move forward, of its not the case the player will stay here.’