Mikel Arteta’s strong response as he fields more Mesut Ozil questions

Mesut Ozil may have played his last game for Arsenal, head coach Mikel Arteta has suggested.

The German playmaker’s future in North London remains in major doubt after his manager refused to confirm whether he has a chance of being involved in any of their remaining summer fixtures.

Ozil – who has one year left on his contract, the most expensive in Gunners history – had been a key man for Arteta earlier in the season as the Spaniard settled into his first job in management.

But the 32-year-old has been sidelined since the coronavirus lockdown and failed to make the squad for Arsenal ’s Premier League showdowns with Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur.

Speaking ahead of their next game, which is against champions Liverpool on Wednesday, Arteta was evidently not prepared to provide Ozil with any assurances over his future at the club.

Asked during his pre-match press conference via video link whether Ozil will play again this season, Arteta simply replied that “with Mesut, the situation is still the same as it was.”

The Gunners boss was then pressed on whether Ozil had any chance at all of featuring in any of their final three league games or their FA Cup semi-final against Man City.

But Arteta again opted not to say that Ozil would definitely be in contention: “I don't know. At the moment, the situation remains the same. We will see if that changes.”

Though Ozil was initially thought to be struggling with back pain, Arteta made no mention of an injury amid rumours of friction between the player and the club.

Ozil is being paid £350,000 a week for his trouble, but without the prospect of European football, the Arsenal hierarchy could be keen to reduce their wage bill.

Arsenal’s Player of the Season for 2015/16 has scored only once in the current campaign and supplied three assists in his 23 appearances so far this year.

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