Mesut Ozil's time at Arsenal looks to be coming to an end after Mikel Arteta admitted it was "difficult" to integrate Ozil back into the team, but where would the forgotten 31-year-old go?
Ozil, whose contract is set to expire next June, has not featured for the Gunners since March 7and was not named in Arsenal's matchday squad for the first three games of the new campaign.
Even as Arteta shuffled his pack for the Carabao Cup trip to Leicester, there was still no place for Ozil in the Arsenal travelling party, casting further doubt over his future in England.
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"The team is evolving and you can see the level they are achieving," Arteta said after Arsenal's 2-0 victory against Leicester City in the League Cup on Wednesday. "We want to evolve more and play better, so we need to maintain that.
"I try to select the players that are, in my opinion, in better condition. We are picking players we believe are the best for each game and as you can see, we keep changing.
You can see ... that it is very difficult - not just for Mesut but for some to make the squad. Every week, we try to pick the right players.
Analysis: Ozil's time at elite European club level seems to be over
That could well be that. Mikel Arteta's latest admittance on his plans for Ozil seems set in stone. The Spaniard has not been afraid to make tough decisions, and as his tries to revolutionise Arsenal, Ozil is very much an expensive, unnecessary luxury.
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It is not just his time in north London that appears to coming to an end. With an agent who will insist his client is handsomely paid for his time, Ozil's options at European elite level will be very limited indeed. Who will want to pay a 31-year-old who is so out of match practice anything like what he is earning at Arsenal?
Arsenal's issue is how to get him off the books. Ozil will be in no rush to depart given the wage he is on, so Arsenal will have to offer clubs some form of package that means they will keep continuing to pay something towards his wages.
Turkey, Asia or the US look to be the best options for Ozil, but having enjoyed plenty of good times at the Emirates, he could actually leave without playing a game for the Gunners again.
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