first_imgArsenal set to re-attempt efforts to terminate Mesut Ozil’s contract early ahead of January transfer window View 5 comments Advertisement Advertisement Metro Sport ReporterThursday 8 Oct 2020 1:44 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link893Shares Arsenal want to get rid of Ozil again (Picture: Getty Images)Arsenal are set to re-enter discussions with Mesut Ozil in an attempt to terminate the midfielder’s contract ahead of the winter transfer window, according to reports.The German hasn’t played for the Gunners since Marcj and was left out of their Europa League squad for the upcoming campaign.Although boss Mikel Arteta remarked before the new season that every player would ‘start from zero’, Ozil has not featured in any matchday squad so far this term, while fellow outcast Matteo Guendouzi was shipped out on loan to Hertha Berlin. Arteta has taken a no-nonsense approach to managing his squad (Picture: Getty Images)The 31-year-old’s contract isn’t due to expire until June 2021 and he has previously insisted that he plans to stay until the ‘last day’ of his deal.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTAccording to the Daily Mail, over the last two weeks, Arsenal unsuccessfully approached Ozil over ending his contract early.However, they are prepared make another offer to the midfielder in the hopes that they can remove his mammoth £350,000-a-week paycheck from their wage bill in January.The report states that an agreement is unlikely to be reached before the winter window and Ozil is said to want almost all of the remaining £13 million on his contract paid up.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing ArsenalEarlier this week, the playmaker offered to pay the wages of Gunnersaurus, after the club mascot was effectively made redundant as part of staff cuts to deal with the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.Arsenal quickly responded to Ozil’s gesture, with a club spokesman telling ESPN: ‘Gunnersaurus is not extinct and will return to action when fans are allowed back at matches.’MORE: Kevin Campbell explains the two positions Thomas Partey can play at ArsenalMORE: Chelsea hero Frank Leboeuf rates Manchester United and Arsenal’s top-four chancesFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramFor more stories like this, check our sport pagelast_img read more


first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ From the living room of their Daytona Beach apartment, Taleah Washington locked eyes with her father. He had seen this coming, and Washington sensed it too. “Writing on the wall,” James Washington said. Seven other girls filtered in and faced James, the head coach of their DME Sports Academy prep school team. It wasn’t exactly the Washington’s living room and it wasn’t exactly home, since the rest of their family was still in District Heights, Maryland. Just a temporary spot. Washington was already a Syracuse (10-11, 4-6 Atlantic Coast Conference) commit, the only DME player with a college destination selected at the start of the year. Minutes weren’t likely with the 2018-19 Orange, so James took the prep job, and the pair moved to Florida following Washington’s high school graduation. But in that three-bedroom, two-closet and one-bathroom apartment accommodating nine people, it became clear their plan was jeopardized. Soon, Washington and her teammates wouldn’t be associated with DME anymore. It was only January, the middle of their season, but an untenable economic situation led to them shutting down the program, James said. The rooms were filled with air mattresses. “Here we go again,” he thought, “another obstacle.”Because that’s exactly what it was: Yet another obstacle. Washington’s freshman year at Syracuse has introduced her to the first stable program since she finished eighth grade. Forestville Military Academy, where she spent her freshman and sophomore years in high school, closed. Rock Creek Christian Academy, where she transferred for her final two years, had five girls on its roster to start. Then, DME folded.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Here, I know I don’t have to worry about that,” Washington said.Syracuse isn’t going anywhere. The minutes head coach Quentin Hillsman gave Washington at the beginning of the season might have disappeared, but they’ll re-emerge at some point. It might be next year, when Gabrielle Cooper is gone. But until then, Syracuse will provide more for her than she will for them.“She’s used to being a giant-killer, you know the David and Goliath story,” James said. “She’s used to being the underdog and coming out on top.”Taleah Washington hit a buzzer-beater before halftime in her first game at Syracuse. Elizabeth Billman | Asst. Photo EditorThere have been “magical” scenes for her this season, like in SU’s season-opener against Ohio when she faded away from the basket and hit a falling buzzer-beater before halftime. But with those have come the eye-opening ones for the freshman, like when she counted five open 3-pointers from her bench spot that the Orange surrendered to Miami’s Mykea Gray in their Jan. 12 loss — a player SU specifically addressed during pregame film.They’re so glaring because Washington looks for those same openings: The few extra inches on a wing. The closeouts a second too late. James had taught her that. He’d always been her coach, from Washington’s youth basketball days, when she’d give James the silent treatment on car rides home, to her high school years when she understood why he pushed her so much. Before coming to SU, James was the only coach Washington ever played for. She was introduced to the sport in second grade, when she’d watch James coach the Ballou (Maryland) High School boys’ team. That’s where Washington learned her first dribble move.As she got older, she featured more and more advanced moves. At Forestville, Washington was part of the first girls state championship in school history. But as her sophomore year wound down and the Knights neared a second-straight title, the school announced it was closing because of declining enrollment.Washington was devastated. This was not only her school but her mother and father’s too. During part one of the Board of Education Boundary Hearing — one of the final in the decision-making process — Washington hopped down the steps toward the podium clad in a gray Nike sweatshirt. As president of the sophomore class and captain of the basketball team, she spoke about how the closing would rip the Forestville community apart.“Forestville is very family-oriented,” Washington said during the hearing. “You always know that when you’re down on the ropes you have people to pick you up.”But she’d have to find that same quality at Rock Creek, where James took the head coaching job and Washington followed. So did some of Washington’s Forestville and Havoc City AAU teammates. The gym was outdated and had no air ventilation. On cold days in the winter, they couldn’t practice at all or had to use another gym. Players would put on layers under their practice jerseys, one of Washington’s teammates said. Washington and her team sometimes returned to Forestville for practice, using its track to shuffle and backpedal, using the gym for mountain-climbers, wind sprints and crab walks. They’d complete the “seven trees” drill that involved running up a steep hill and weaving through each tree along the way. When Rock Creek scrimmaged, they didn’t practice sets. James and other assistant coaches would play, but their offense relied on freedom. She’s used to being a giant-killer, you know the David and Goliath story. She’s used to being the underdog and coming out on top.-James Washington, father of Taleah WashingtonWith Washington averaging nearly a triple-double as a senior, Rock Creek ranked as one of the top high school teams in the country. It played on the Nike Tournament of Champions circuit, traveling to Arizona in the winter and playing in the top bracket despite not practicing for weeks. Then came the New York Rose Classic, a trip to Maryland and other national tournaments, all with Washington at the forefront.“I call it the invisible bag,” James said. “We put our money, our coins and rubbed our coins together to help accumulate all this money and scholarship.”By her senior year, Washington had decommitted from Old Dominion and signed with Syracuse. She knew Hillsman from attending his Elite Camp growing up — and James knew him from Forestville, too — but then the post-grad year came on her radar. After James revealed the fate of DME in the Daytona Beach living room, he created his own prep team — called Empowerment — that completed DME’s schedule and sprinkled in other games against Florida junior colleges. They finished runner-up in the independent national championship in Charlotte, and one-by-one the girls moved out of the school-provided housing and into James’ apartment. Washington became the team cook, assistant coach and go-to player on the court. She listed what each player wanted to eat and assembled meals like chicken alfredo and lasagna. When they traveled, the group rented vans because James’ two-door Mercedes Benz couldn’t fit everyone — even when they crammed four girls into the back row. Parents pitched in money to help along the way, but the bulk of it came from the Washingtons’ account.“It made her hungry,” Hillsman said. “That was a rocky path for her.”At SU, instead of living with seven teammates and her father, Washington has a South Campus apartment. She only has to cook for herself when she wants to, and post-practice meals at the Carmelo K. Anthony Center are always available. Washington’s the happiest she’s ever been, James said. She finally has some stability. Comments Published on February 4, 2020 at 11:15 pm Contact Andrew: arcrane@syr.edu | @CraneAndrewlast_img read more