The Gunners midfielder is edging closer towards an exit this month, with Fenerbahce in talks about a move to Turkey

Mesut Ozil’s legacy at Arsenal will not be damaged by the way his time at the club has come to an end.

That is according to boss Mikel Arteta, who says the German’s record since arriving in north London is “unquestionable”, even if he never plays another game for the club.

Arsenal had gone eight years without a trophy when Ozil joined from Real Madrid in 2013, but in his first season he helped Arsene Wenger’s side win the FA Cup.

The north Londoners went on to win the trophy a further three times during Ozil’s stay in north London and he has contributed 33 goals and 54 assists in 184 Premier League games for the Gunners.

But Ozil’s Arsenal’s career has halted dramatically during the past year, with the playmaker not featuring since March and not even being included in Arteta’s 25-man squad for the first half of the 2020-21 campaign.

A January departure now looks a real possibility for the 32-year-old, with Fenerbahce hoping to lure him to Turkey.

An exit in the coming weeks would deny Ozil the chance of a proper send off from the Arsenal fans and would cap what has been an unseemly end to what had been a hugely successful stay.

But Arteta believes that whatever happens this month or in the summer, when Ozil’s contract is due to expire, the German’s legacy at Arsenal is already secured.

“What Mesut has done at the football club is unquestionable and that will stay,” said the Spaniard.

“It doesn’t matter if he plays two more games, 10 more games or none.

“I think what he has done is there for the records, the history of the club and his contribution, nobody can discuss that.”

Arsenal’s focus during the January transfer window is on getting the likes of Ozil, Sokratis and Shkodran Mustafi out of the door as they look to trim what is a bloated squad.

Sead Kolasinac has already left, as has William Saliba, but more are expected to follow before the end of the month.

Should Arsenal manage to free up space in the squad, they will look to bring in at least one new addition, but it is far from clear at this stage whether it will be possible.

Ideally Arteta would like to have things sorted quickly so he knows exactly what he has to work with during the second half of the season, but he accepts the club is trying to do business in extremely challenging times.

“At the moment, the market is really complicated,” he said.

“The situation around every club is not easy and to get the negotiations going as well is harder because you cannot be face to face. You cannot travel to another country and make a deal happen like that.

“Everything has to be through the phone or Zoom. It can go either way to be fair. I can tell you what I would like, which is on day one to have the squad like I want and the players out and in sorted, but I think it is really complicated right now.”