Mesut Ozil is causing problems within the AC Milan hierarchy with Paolo Maldini and Ivan Gazidis said to be at loggerheads over a deal for the Arsenal midfielder.
The frustrating German has fallen out of favour under Unai Emery and is getting ever closer to leaving the Emirates Stadium. He has not started any of Arsenal’s last four games, although for two of them he has been recovering from a knee injury.
With Ozil’s future seemingly away from north London, Milan are considering a move for him but the power brokers at the San Siro are reportedly struggling to agree on a deal.
According to Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport, the relationship between Gazidis and Maldini has deteriorated over their opinions on signing Ozil.
Gazidis, who served as Arsenal’s chief executive for around 10 years and departed to assume the same role at Milan in 2017, is against the idea of bringing Ozil to Serie A.
He believes the 30-year-old does not fit into the club’s recruitment strategy with his age and wage demands financially unsuitable for the club.
Maldini, who won seven Serie A titles and five European Cups with Milan and has gone on to become their sporting strategy and development director, is of an opposite opinion and believes they should take the chance to sign a player of Ozil’s calibre.
Ozil’s £350,000-per-week wages have left a near-crippling burden on Arsenal’s finances and the fact he is no longer a first-team regular casts even more scrutiny on the contract.
The Gunners are willing to listen to offers for Ozil but it remains to be seen who will take on his salary. Arsenal will almost certainly need to subsidise his wages in order to shift him.
On Thursday, Emery insisted he is not considering Ozil’s departure but admitted he wants more consistent performances from the playmaker.
The Spaniard said Ozil could face Chelsea on Saturday, saying:
‘I’ve spoken to him because I want consistency.
‘He’s had some injuries and these injuries mean that sometimes he is OK and sometimes he isn’t OK. I want every player to give the same work every day to be OK for every match.
‘With Mesut it’s the same. He didn’t play the last matches but to me he’s just like any other player.
‘This Saturday he can be with us if he’s OK. Now? He’s training consistently with his work over the past two weeks and I think he can be.’