Mesut Ozil take a bow, from Arsenal

Mesut Ozil take a bow, from Arsenal

Mesut Ozil has thanked Arsenal for an “amazing journey” after his departure to Fenerbahce was confirmed.

Ozil said goodbye to his Arsenal team-mates a week ago and his move to Turkey has now been wrapped up, ending his seven-and-a-half-year stay at the Emirates.

“I’d like to thank the club for this amazing journey over the past seven and a half years,” said Ozil, who has not played for the Gunners since March, with his £350,000-a-week deal set to expire at the end of the current season.

“The support I have felt from the team and fans during my time here has been truly incredible and something I will always be grateful for.

“Together we won trophies for the first time in years and created memories that will last a lifetime. The Arsenal fans will forever remain in my heart.

“I’d like to thank Edu Gaspar for helping bring about a professional and dignified solution in the past few days, and I wish everyone at the club the best in their attempt to continue to bring Arsenal back to the top, where we belong.”

Ozil was not registered in Arsenal’s Premier League and Europa League squads this season and has been free to talk to other clubs since the beginning of January.

Mikel Arteta said: “Mesut’s achievements at Arsenal are undisputed. It was a privilege to play alongside him and, more recently, coach him.

“His creativity and vision led to many goals during his time in the Arsenal shirt. Mesut was at the heart of many great moments for this club over the years, including those three FA Cup final wins.

“These successes will always be part of our history. We thank Mesut and wish him all the best with Fenerbahce.”

It is thought Ozil forewent a portion of the outstanding pay on the remainder of his Arsenal contract as part of the agreement.

Fenerbahce are under increasing pressure to meet financial fair play regulations and made it clear throughout the negotiation process that they would be unable to pay any significant transfer fee to Arsenal.

The club will be helped by part of Ozil’s overall income agreement being funded by the Istanbul-based Exxen Media Group, which in return will retain some of his image rights.

Ozil, who arrived at Arsenal from Real Madrid in 2013, scored 44 goals and registered 77 assists in 254 appearances for the club.

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