Mikel Arteta wants Arsenal to act swiftly in the January transfer window and says Mesut Ozil’s future will depend on what business the club get done.
Ozil was left out of Arsenal’s 25-man squad for the first half of the Premier League season but Arteta has hinted that the German could still play a part in the second half of the campaign, depending on what happens in the transfer market in the coming weeks.
Sead Kolasinac has already left, joining Schalke on loan, and more could follow him out the door, with Arteta admitting that moving players on is the club’s priority this month.
Should they be successful, then there’s a possibility that Ozil - who is out of contract in the summer - could be included in Arsenal's 25-man Premier League squad for the second half of the season.
“We will see what happens in the transfer window and we will assess that at the end,” Arteta said, when asked about Ozil’s potential return.
There have been suggestions that Arsenal would be open to paying up the remainder of Ozil’s contact and allowing him to leave on a free this month.
Ozil has always insisted, however, that he will see out the remainder of his deal before leaving north London in the summer.
And Arteta says a player is well within his rights to stay put, even if he knows he is not going to play.
“You have to respect the player’s contract,” said the Arsenal boss. “What you can do is try to be open with them and tell them your intentions, the role they have in the team and why that is.
"At the end, they are entitled to make the decision in their lives because they have a contract here.
“Some would like to move because they are not playing, and some would like to stay. At the end that is something we cannot decide.”
Arteta is keen on adding a creative player to his squad during the transfer window, but knows that will depend on what business the club can do in terms of outgoings.
Real Madrid star Isco is a loan target and Arteta is hopeful that the club can do their business quickly this month to give any new recruits extra time to settle.
“The quicker you do the business the better, because you are buying some time,” said the Gunners boss.
“There are really key things to consider before making any steps to bring anyone in in January.
“Every player is going to need time to adapt. It’s which qualities this player is bringing, what is the past of that player, where has he been, has he been in a different country, does he speak the language, is he familiar to a certain style of playing.
“There are a lot of conditions that in my opinion affect whether that player can have an immediate impact or not in a team.”