Ozil Southampton Dec2018

Arsenal manager, Unai Emery, has claimed he left Mesut Ozil out of his squad to face Tottenham in the Carabao Cup quarter-final, for "tactical reasons".

Ozil was not even named on the substitutes' bench, raising fresh doubts over his future at The Emirates.

Emery refused to give any guarantees and even dodged questions when asked directly whether he would be sold in January or was part of his long term plans.

Ozil has struggled under Emery, despite only signing a new £350,000-a-week contract last January, which will make him difficult to offload.

Emery, who insisted Ozil was at the stadium, said: "It is a tactical decision. The players I chose were the best to perform in this match.

"We have 24-25 players and they play in one and not play in another. The decision is mine and it is tactical today."

When quizzed over whether Ozil would be sold, Emery was even more evasive which perhaps dropped an even bigger hint the German is on his way out.

"My focus is now on this match and Saturday. Tomorrow I train with every player for a difficult match on Saturday.

"I am thinking of the match today and not of another situation. Every player is important. One I decided didn't play and it's only a tactical decision," Emery added.

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