Behind the scenes, Arsenal are looking at new ways of offloading Shkodran Mustafi and Mesut Ozil and have identified loan deals with an option to buy as the way forward.
Mustafi could be relatively easy to get through the Emirates door, even though it would be embarrassing for the giant defender.
It’s more complicated in Ozil’s case because the player has indicated that he wishes to stay and any loan deal which meets with the Germans approval, will mean that Arsenal still have to pay at least half of his £350,000 per week, but that still makes the deal tight.
Such is the dilemma for Arsenal that they could, in theory be held to ransom by both until their contract expires and this will obviously change the way Arsenal enter into contract negotiations in the future.
They will have to find some way of inserting a break clause, but that may cause even more problems if it’s a two way option, which one assumes it would be.
To date Arsenal haven’t received any inquiries or bids for Mustafi or Ozil and if Unai Emery was hoping for a swift resolution to this situation, he was very much mistaken.
Galatasaray or Fenerbahçe were said to be vaguely interested in the pair, but they are usually names associated with any departure from the premiership, so treat this information with your own discretion.
Inter Milan were another club said to be interested in Ozil. Back in January, the Daily Star claimed Inter Milan would enter into an agreement, but only if it was subsidised by his parent club. At the same time, he was said to have rejected an offer from PSG to go the Parc des Princes, insisting he was happy at Arsenal.
The German could always feature as a make weight in any deal to buy a player, but it would take a major concession from the player to make that happen and as such should be considered unlikely.
The modern football world is about preserving reputations and Ozil will hardly be in a hurry as a high profile World Cup winner to play for a team that he considers are beneath him, even at the age of 30.
It’s going to be another standoff and Emery can only hope that he can convince the midfielder to move on by not playing him regularly, which is an expensive game to play.
The truth is that Arsenal have no idea how to progress this situation because it is relatively unusual. Normally, one side or the other capitulates and the player finds another home but, that only works if there is significant interest, there hasn’t been.
Ozil’s much publicised troubles have lead to him becoming something of an outcast. He can’t return to Germany after quitting international football and is now considered to be past his best for La Liga.
The top clubs in the Premier League appear to have no need of his services, which means that the globe has suddenly shrunk when it comes to Mesut Ozil and his likely destination would be at a lower level.
As for Mustafi, his situation may trundle on until January at the earliest because of his catalogue of gaffs and failures.