Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil is set to walk away for free next term as the club has decided not to renew the deal, as per reports. Ozil is the biggest earner at the Emirates on a 350,000 pounds a week deal.

The contract sum is affecting negotiations with other players who are in talks with the club. Arsenal are keen on retaining their skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang amid interest from numerous clubs. The Gabon international’s deal ends next year but the Gunners want him to extend now. In doing so the player, who knows he has peaked, is seeking the best deal based on the club’s financial structure. He wants the right price and length to commit, and it seems the Ozil wage bill is in effect.

Alexandre Lacazette has two years on his contract and has also been linked away from the club. Talks on extending has been stalling. Arsenal are prioritizing the deal for Aubameyang and two others – Bukayo Saka and Reiss Nelson.

Ozil has insisted on remaining at the club especially since getting the support of Mikel Arteta. He was on exile under Unai Emery but says he is currently happy at the club. Even if Arsenal wants to cut ties with him, they would have to pay him for the rest of the season and then he walks for free. The player is not open to leaving the club according to his agent ErkutSogut.

If he leaves next year, after eight years at the club, he would be a club legend but one that failed to reach his potential. He is very talented and experienced but his style of play especially backtracking when the team loses the ball has been heavily criticized. He has produced genius moments but there have also been many sources of frustrations in his relation with the club, management and the fans.