Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil linked with move to Saudi Arabia side Al Nassr

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Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil being chased by Leeds United's Kalvin Phillips during the FA Cup third round match at the Emirates Stadium on January 6, 2020. PHOTO: AFP

ANKARA  —  Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil is said to have attracted interest from Saudi Arabia side Al Nassr.

Reports in Turkey claimed on Monday that the Riyadh club are preparing an offer of around $20 million (Dh73.5m) per year in wages for Ozil, although the German midfielder recently said he would remain at the north London club. Ozil is believed to have interest also from Qatar.

The former Real Madrid star, 31, is understood to still be Arsenal’s highest-paid player, with his weekly wages reported to be £350,000 (Dh1.7m). Despite that, he did not feature for manager Mikel Arteta following the 2019/20 Premier League’s restart in June. His contract with Arsenal runs until next year.

Ozil attracted heavy criticism this year by refusing to follow his teammates in taking a pay-cut during lockdown, but told The Athletic afterwards that his current deal “should be respected by everyone”, implying he would stay.

Arteta, meanwhile, has hinted that Ozil would be given a clean slate heading into the new Premier League campaign, which begins on September 12. On Saturday, his side defeated champions Liverpool on penalties to win the Community Shield.

Nine-time domestic champions, Nassr are looking to strengthen their squad having this week relinquished the Saudi Pro League title to Al Hilal. The capital club sit six points behind their city rivals with two rounds to go, but lost the crown given their inferior head-to-head record.–AFP

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