Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has explained why Mesut Ozil’s departure from the Emirates Stadium is taking so long.
The 32-year-old is on the brink of joining Fenerbahce, but as of Thursday morning, they’re yet to confirm the move.
Arteta, speaking ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup fourth-round meeting with Southampton, explained how quarantine regulations in Turkey are holding up the deal.
“The quarantine situation is making that final step the longest ever because they have a lot of restrictions there [in Turkey],” Arteta told BBC Sport (10:13).
“There things that have to be done before announcing anything. I think everything seems to be going okay but I cannot say definitely what is going to happen.”
Asked if it was hard to let Ozil leave Arsenal, Arteta replied: “Yeah, for many different reasons. There is a history here what happened in the last few years.
“How things develop and how the team should evolve for the future and his position at the club.
“A player with such an importance that is not playing and is not in the squad.
“It’s a really difficult situation to sustain for both parties.
“The player wants to play and we cannot give him the minutes and obviously that situation has to be resolved.”
Ozil didn’t play at all for Arsenal after the resumption of English football in June.
Although he did get some minutes in pre-season friendly action, he has remained on the sidelines this season.
This is turning out to be the longest of goodbyes, with Ozil still not quite over the line at Fenerbahce.
Sky Sports reported earlier this week that Friday would see the attacking midfielder finally unveiled as a Fener player.
Once finished, then all parties will breathe a sigh of relief as they can finally get on with their lives.