Arteta hopes Arsenal have learned from Ozil, Sokratis exits


FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Arsenal v Newcastle United - Emirates Stadium, London, Britain - January 18, 2021 Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta Pool via REUTERS/Adam Davy

(Reuters) - Arsenal will look to avoid repeating expensive terminations of contracts for players who have been left out of rosters, manager Mikel Arteta has said.

The London club agreed to terminate Greek defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos' contract on Wednesday, while midfielder Mesut Ozil is finalising a move to Turkish club Fenerbahce.

Both players were omitted from Arsenal's Premier League and Europa League squads this season.

"You don't want to get into this position again, that's for sure. Not for the player, not for the club. But it's happening more and more at every club," Arteta told reporters ahead of Saturday's FA Cup fourth-round clash at Southampton.

"I think you have to have that communication open, obviously to prevent it as much as possible and if they happen, just make a decision and don't try to delay a situation that is not working for much longer.

"So sometimes it's impossible to see what's going to happen in three years' time. We tried to resolve those situations early in the summer, to try and avoid what we had but sometimes it's not possible as well."

Arteta said this week he plans to bring new players in during the January transfer window, with British media reporting that Real Madrid's Norwegian attacking midfielder Martin Odegaard was on the club's radar.

Arsenal could also prioritise the signing of a left back as cover for Kieran Tierney after the departure of Sead Kolasinac to Schalke 04 on loan.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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