Arsenal players are 'distancing themselves' from Mesut Ozil behind the scenes

Brighton & Hove Albion v Arsenal FC - Premier League

Arsenal host Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday in a game that could play a big role in the race for the top four.

And yet, despite what's at stake, one name has dominated headlines ahead of the London derby: Mesut Ozil.

Questions are being asked of whether Ozil - who hasn't started a game since the 3-1 win over Burnley on December 22 - has a future at Arsenal, let alone if he'll feature.

He was fit and available for last weekend's defeat to West Ham but manager Unai Emery decided to leave him at home - for tactical reasons.

Arsenal missed Ozil's creativity at the London Stadium, so the German is now tipped to make a return for the Chelsea game.

Emery confirmed as much in his post-match press conference, where the Spaniard explained that he wants consistency from Ozil if he's going to start playing again. 

"He has injuries, where sometimes he is okay, sometimes not okay," said Emery, per Sky Sports. "I want every player to be okay for every match and he is the same.

"He didn't play the last game (against West Ham), but this Saturday he could possibly be with us. Now he is training consistently.

"I want every player to give consistency. This is not always easy. What is most important is how he can help us."

Arsenal FC v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League

And when asked about Ozil potentially leaving in January, Arsenal's manager responded: "I am not thinking about that. I am thinking about how he can help us.

"He has helped us sometimes this year with good performances and others not good. After these two weeks working, maybe he can be okay for us."

Ozil has reportedly been working harder than ever away from the football pitch by doing extra sessions to prove to Emery that he's fully committed to Arsenal.

FBL-ENG-PR-ARSENAL-MAN CITY

Emery, however, is having none of it and The Sun's Neil Ashton claims an increasing number of Arsenal players are getting frustrated with Ozil's mood swings.

"Nobody knows whether Ozil, who has not played since Boxing Day, will even say 'hello' or 'good morning' anymore," wrote Ashton.

Ozil's hostile attitude has caused his teammates to distance themselves as they look to focus on securing a place in the Champions League.

It seems no one is buying the 30-year-old's apparent efforts to get back into the team, which could give him no choice but to leave in the January transfer window.

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