Mesut Ozil, Arsenal’s German midfielder, has said some people at the club are out to turn supporters against him over his refusal to accept a pay cut during the lockdown.
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The 31-year-old has been the subject of debate after he did not make the Gunners squad in 13 games after football resumed.
Ozil has now been quoted by the Athletic to have said the agenda against him started because he demanded some explanation as to why players and staff should take a 12.5 per cent pay cut.
“As players, we all wanted to contribute. But we needed more information and many questions were unanswered.
“I guess that’s because it is me and people have been trying for two years to destroy me, to make me unhappy, to push an agenda they hope will turn the supporters against me and pain a picture that is not true,” he said.
The former Real Madrid star, who earns £350,000 per week, said it is untrue that he has not been fit or has a bad attitude, saying he would not have played 10 games under new boss, Mikel Arteta, if the claims were true.
Ozil, who was pivotal to Germany’s 2014 World Cup triumph, however said he will not walk away from the club, insisting that he will warm his way back to the club’s heart.
“Things have been difficult but I love Arsenal. I’ll decide when I go, not other people.
“I’ll give everything I have for this club. Situations like these will never break me, they only make me stronger.
“I showed in the past that I can come back into the team and I will show it again,” he said.