Mikel Arteta says he is allowing Mesut Ozil to leave Arsenal because he wants to “take the team in a different direction”.
Ozil is on the verge of signing for Fenerbahce on a free transfer after being frozen out by his manager, but Arteta insists the decision was based on purely footballing purposes.
“For many different reasons, there is a history here as well what happened in the last few years how things developed, how I believed the team should evolve for the future and his position at the club,” Arteta explained when asked why Ozil is being allowed to go.
“A player with such an importance that is not playing, not in the squad, is a really difficult situation to sustain for both parties.
“If a player wants to play and we cannot give him the minutes, obviously that situation has to be resolved.”
He added: “He’s a great footballer and a really talented footballer and a player who has done a lot for the football club but at the moment I want to take the team in a different direction and he would have more options [elsewhere].”