Unai Emery insists he has a “good relationship” with Mesut Ozil, contrary to reports of a bust-up between the Arsenal pair.
Arsenal manager Emery said he enjoyed a “relaxing” three days with Ozil in training after the player’s retirement from international football meant he did not depart with the Germany squad last week.
Ozil was omitted from Arsenal’s squad for last month’s 3-1 win over West Ham, prompting reports of a dispute with Emery – who had said the midfielder was ill – before he returned to the starting XI for the last game at Cardiff.
Speaking ahead of Arsenal’s game against Newcastle this weekend, Emery said: “[We get on] very well. Here for me it isn’t for a lot of the time speaking about what people are telling us.
“I have a very good relationship with Mesut and professionally I push him for improvements to give us the best in his qualities and performances.”
Ozil’s retirement from international football came after he made claims of racism from the German football association.
The midfielder was criticised for posing for photographs with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the build-up to the World Cup, which saw 2014 champions Germany knocked out at the group stage.
Emery admitted Ozil’s first international break since his retirement will have been a difficult adjustment for the player, but that the pair have been able to spend beneficial time on the training ground together.
“The first time, maybe, he could feel different but every day with us in the work, I look at him and he looks well and happy, working with our demands every day,” said Emery.
“Mesut, like other players, works very well here and also working the ties and also together to improve things. Mesut, I look at him with the focus totally here.”
Defender Nacho Monreal revealed on Wednesday he is in negotiations with Arsenal over a new deal, and Emery said the club “need” to secure the left-back’s place at the club.
Chief executive Ivan Gazidis’ future looks less certain, though, with AC Milan having re-opened negotiations with him.
Gazidis made the decision for Emery to succeed Arsene Wenger, having overseen a restructure at the club by bringing in head of relations Raul Sanllehi from Barcelona and former Borussia Dortmund scout Sven Mislintat as head of recruitment.
Emery insists he has had no talks about Gazidis leaving.
“Every conversation with him is speaking about us and about our work here every day,” he said. “I don’t know any other news from him.”