LONDON – Arsenal manager Unai Emery did little to quell suspicion that he might be prepared to sell midfielder Mesut Ozil, repeatedly refusing to say on Wednesday that he wants to hold on to the German playmaker.
Ozil, who joined the Gunners from Real Madrid in 2013 for a then-record £42 million, has been left out of the side regularly in the last two months, at first due to a back sprain and then – according to Emery – because of the physicality of some opponents.
The player, whose contract is due to keep him at Arsenal until 2021, was also not on the team-sheet for the 2-0 loss to Tottenham Hotspur in the League Cup quarter-finals at the Emirates on Wednesday.
“It’s a tactical decision because I thought that the players that were with us today were the best choices for this match,” Emery told reporters when asked about Ozil’s absence.
Quizzed about whether he would consider offers from other clubs for Ozil in the January transfer window, Emery was evasive.