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'Ozil's time is up and he has to move on' - Former Arsenal star suggests China switch

13:48 GMT 19/01/2019
Mesut Ozil Arsenal 2018
Charlie Nicholas believes the Gunners need to part with a World Cup winner, with Paul Merson considering the situation in north London to be "a joke"

Mesut Ozil needs to accept his “time is up and he must move on”, says Charlie Nicholas, with the Arsenal playmaker tipped for a possible switch to China.

The World Cup winner is facing questions regarding his future after slipping out of favour under Unai Emery.

A lucrative contract penned in February 2018 and a lack of contribution on the field is considered to be causing those at Emirates Stadium unnecessary problems.

Removing Ozil from the fold could help to resolve some of those issues, with Nicholas suggesting that he could attract interest similar to that being shown in West Ham forward Marko Arnautovic.

The former Arsenal striker told Sky Sports, with Aaron Ramsey also edging towards the exits in north London: “I think they should get rid of Ozil.

“It is the people running the club who gave him the wage, but it looks silly letting Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere go.

“Hopefully Juventus will take Ramsey immediately and Arsenal get some money for him. Ozil does not fit Emery's plans, so you get the agent in and look for him to go elsewhere.

“Ozil has amazing talent and is popular in the dressing room but his time is up and he must move on. If the Chinese clubs are interested in Arnautovic then they should be interested in Ozil.

“He will not want to sit on the bench but the common-sense consensus is finding a club and looking to sell him.”

Another ex-Arsenal star, Paul Merson, also believes that a decision needs to be made on Ozil.

He considers goings on at the Emirates to be “a joke”, with Ramsey being allowed to walk away on a free transfer while Emery is told he has no transfer funds for reinforcements.

“If this was in a book, you'd throw the book in the sea as it would be so unbelievable for such a big football club,” said Merson.

“You shouldn't let £50 million players' contracts run down, it is a joke. The way the club is being run at the moment and the players that have been let go, I worry for Arsenal.

“I think the Arsene Wenger contract talk dominated the agenda at Arsenal so much, the club took their eye off sorting out contracts for their key players. A top football club shouldn't be allowing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere to leave on the cheap.

“Arsenal won't be able to buy anyone until they can get Ozil off the books.

“If Arsenal want to attract the big players for £50-60m then those players will want to be on Ozil's wages. Arsenal can't afford to do that. Then players will look elsewhere.”