ARSENAL are stepping up their efforts to sell Mesut Ozil in a desperate bid to raise funds for a summer spending spree.
Manager Unai Emery is under increasing pressure to cash in on his highest earner as the club could be hit by a pre-tax loss of more than £50million.
Failure to qualify for the Champions League for a third consecutive year has come as a major financial blow to the Gunners.
During Arsene Wenger’s final season in charge, £110million was raised by selling the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud, Wojciech Szczesny and Gabriel Paulista.
That figure plummeted to a mere £7million last season from minor deals.
Emery, 47, has £45m for new buys — and lost Aaron Ramsey, Danny Welbeck, Petr Cech and Stephan Lichtsteiner for free.
The only way he can increase that budget is by selling those he does not want — and Ozil, 30, is top of his hit list, especially with his eye-popping £350,000-a-week salary.
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But selling a player, who back in 2013 was their £42.5m club-record buy from Real Madrid, could prove an impossible task.
The German has no intention of being forced out when he still has another two years of his lucrative contract to run.
Turkish giants Galatasaray, Fenerbahce and Besiktas would love to sign him but none could pay Arsenal’s £30m asking price, as well as his £18m-a-year wages.
This post written by Marc Mayo originally appeared on Football news - transfers, fixtures, scores, pictures | The Sun. Read the full post here.