Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 18 September 2019

Fenerbahce rule out signing Arsenal's Mesut Ozil, saying they cannot afford him

Turkish club release statement announcing their finances meant Ozil was not a target

Mesut Ozil signed a new contract at Arsenal in 2018 making him the highest paid player in the club's history. Reuters
Mesut Ozil signed a new contract at Arsenal in 2018 making him the highest paid player in the club's history. Reuters

Fenerbahce have distanced themselves from a move for Mesut Ozil and insist they cannot afford to sign the Arsenal playmaker.

The Turkish Super Lig outfit have been linked with Ozil in recent weeks, with the Gunners reportedly keen to offload the 30-year-old from their wage bill.

Ozil, a former Germany international of Turkish descent, struggled to impress new Arsenal manager Unai Emery last season and often found himself sidelined for the bigger games.

That is despite the fact he signed a new deal in February 2018 making him the highest-paid player in the history of the club.

His wage of £350,000 a week (Dh1.6 million) eclipses most of players in the current Arsenal squad and could prove a stumbling block in an attempt to move him on, with injury and illness also ruling him out of a number of games over the last couple of seasons.

A deal with Fenerbahce, whether permanent or on loan, was the latest speculation but the club released a statement on Wednesday announcing their finances meant Ozil was not a target.

"In recent weeks, and especially in the last few days, the necessity of providing information about the claims of Mesut Ozil, which is on the agenda, to clarify the situation has arisen," it read.

"Mesut Ozil, with his career and stance successfully represents our country abroad, is an important value known with the identity of Fenerbahce.

"However, Fenerbahce does not have an initiative for Mesut Ozil. Under the current economic conditions, such a step is not possible for both parties.

"Our president, Ali Koc, made statements in this context during the Win-Win programme held on June 20 and emphasised that this could not be realised in the short term. We present it to our community and the public."

Arsenal are set to head to the United States later in the week to begin their pre-season tour.

Newly-appointed technical director Edu will link up with the squad, with new signing Gabriel Martinelli also likely to be making the journey.

And there could be more transfer activity from the club in the coming days, with 18-year-old Saint-Etienne defender William Saliba reportedly close to sealing a £27 million move to the Emirates Stadium.

Saliba likely to be loaned back to the Ligue 1 side for next season.

Updated: July 10, 2019 03:40 PM

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