mesut ozil

Ozil collects £8 million ‘loyalty bonus’ despite ongoing Arsenal exile

Mesut Ozil has been paid an £8 million ‘loyalty bonus’ by Arsenal despite his ongoing exile from Mikel Arteta’s first-team squad at the Emirates.

Ozil faces an uncertain future in north London after falling firmly out-of-favour under Arteta, the midfielder having failed to feature for Arsenal since the Premier League’s restart in June and has not been included in any match-day squad so far this season.

The German’s fall from grace was further highlighted by his exclusion from the Gunners’ 25-man squad for this season’s Europa League group stages, the 31-year-old one of just two senior players – alongside centre-back Sokratis – to be left out.

According to The Athletic, however, Ozil’s increasingly peripheral status has not prevented him picking up a substantial bonus from the club last month, the former Germany international handed a payment of £8m as part of a loyalty bonus included in the record-breaking contract he signed two-and-a-half years ago.

Ozil became the highest-paid player in Arsenal’s history when he penned a deal worth around £350,000-a-week in January 2018, but his fortunes have fallen drastically since then and the club are desperate to remove the out-of-favour playmaker from their wage bill.

Ozil initially regained favour during Arteta’s opening months at the club but has been exiled since the season was halted in March, the midfielder suggesting that his decision to reject a 12.5% pay cut amid the pandemic was behind his exclusion from the squad.

The playmaker’s current contract is set to expire next summer where it is expected he will move on – Ozil having reportedly rejected a potential move to Saudi Arabia in recent weeks.

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