Speaking to the press ahead of Arsenal’s FA Cup clash with Newcastle United on Saturday, manager Mikel Arteta was asked about the situation and the ongoing rumours about Mesut Ozil potentially leaving the club this month, as well as the progress when it comes to signing Omar Rekik from Hertha Berlin.
With Ozil’s £350,000-per-week contract expiring at the end of the season, he is now allowed to talk to clubs outside England and even sign a pre-contract agreement with one. However, there appears to be a reasonable possibility that he could leave the Emirates this month already, given that he’s practically certain to stay frozen out of the squad for the rest of his contract if he stays. Reports of interest from the likes of DC United and Fenerbahce have been doing the rounds in the last few days.
Arteta says that it’s natural for any player to want to play and to not feel good about not playing, and that the matter of Ozil potentially leaving in this window should be resolved in the netxt few days.
Regarding the 19-year-old Hertha defender, Arteta confirmed that the club had been following him for a while, but he refused to give out any further detail when asked about certain claims that the youngster had already had his medical and was training with the Gunners.
But in the end, the boss said that the deal would be announced as soon as possible, which seems to indicate that the transfer is in fact – done. Rekik is expected to join the Under-23 side initially, though a loan move has not been ruled out either.
Rekik has been playing with Hertha BSC II (the club’s reserve team) in the Regionalliga Nordost, making eight appearances, scoring one goal and assisting one this season. He is a 6’1” centre-back, also capable of stepping into the defensive midfield role.