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Mesut Ozil named as ‘one of three’ first

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Mesut Ozil is one of three Arsenal players to reject the club’s 12.5 per cent salary reduction proposal.

The German playmaker is the club’s highest earner, on a reported 350K-a-week deal.

The Gunners have become the first club to agree cuts with their players after ten days of intensive talks which initially saw the squad refuse to take a reduction in wages.

They will take a 12.5 per cent drop for 12 months until March next year, however, Arsenal will repay the money in full if they qualify for the Champions League either this season or the next and will also pay the players a £100,000 bonus.

However, The Mirror report that Ozil is one of three first-team players to have reduced a pay cut.

Whilst neither Ozil nor Arsenal offered a comment on the matter, the 31-year-old’s agent, Dr Erkut Sogut, was quoted earlier in April that players should not accept salary cuts.

Sogut said earlier this month: “Deferral is an option but not to agree a cut today when the clubs may still make the same profit as last year.

“What the exact financial impact is on the clubs, we can see three to six months later – but we can’t see it today.”

Sogut’s comments are in line with the Professional Footballers’ Association, who have also insisted Premier League clubs should only ask for deferrals.

The terms of the pay cut also state that any player who is sold for a profit will have their money refunded this summer.

They will get 7.5 per cent back if they reach the Europa League but nothing if they do not get into Europe.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is said to have played a key role in negotiations with the players, with a video conference call last Wednesday helping to convince the squad that the club needed financial help.

Arteta himself has also agreed to a cut and the club’s 14 strong executive committee have also agreed to take a 30 per cent reduction.

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