Mikel Arteta says he is unsure whether Mesut Ozil will return to the Arsenal squad in January but has suggested the club will not look to cut short the contracts of players that are not in his plans.
Ozil and Sokratis Papastathopoulos were not registered by the Gunners’ for the first half of the Premier League season and are yet to be included in a matchday squad in any competition.
William Saliba, who joined Arsenal from Saint-Etienne for around £27m in July 2019, has also failed to make a first-team appearance, and Arteta says he expects fringe players to leave in this month’s transfer window.
But when it was suggested Arsenal could terminate the contracts of players such as Ozil and Sokratis – which expire at the end of the season – Arteta said: “You have to respect the players’ contracts.
“What you can do is just try to be open with them, tell them your intentions, the role that they have in the team and why that is. They are entitled to make the decision in their lives because they have a contract here.