Mikel Arteta has opened up on his "difficult" chat with Mesut Ozil after axing him from Arsenal's Europa League squad.
The Gunners were only able to name 25 players to represent them in Europe this campaign, with Arteta leaving out Ozil and Soktratis Papstathopoulos.
The latter decision was perhaps to be expected, but the decision to leave out Arsenal's best-paid player was a controversial one.
Opening up on his chat with Ozil and Soktratis, Arteta revealed: "I spoke to them face to face before I released the squad and I explained the reason why the numbers that we had.
"It was really difficult to tell them that, but these are the restrictions and the rules.
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"We have to respect that decision and try to train in the best possible way to help the team in that moment and see what happens in December."
Ozil hasn't kicked a ball for Arsenal so far this season and there are suggestions Arteta could leave him out of his Premier League squad, which he will submit a list for next week.
The German is keen to see out his final year at Arsenal before readdressing his future.
Meanwhile, former Gunners striker Kevin Campbell has put the final nail in the coffin, telling Ozil he is old news at the club.
"There is no chance that he will feature for Arsenal again this season, or ever again," said Campbell.
"There have been certain things that have gone on, instances where he has gone against the club, so I don’t see where there is any room for him to come back."
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