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Arsenal respond to Ozil’s surprise offer to pay Gunnersaurus’ wages

Arsenal have responded to Mesut Ozil's offer to pay Gunnersaurus' wages by insisting that the mascot will remain at the club, although they offered no guarantees that the person playing him will also.

Former Germany international Ozil waded into the unfolding drama on Tuesday when he paid tribute to lifelong Gunners fan Jerry Quy, who has played the cheeky dinosaur mascot for 27 years, both on matchdays at Highbury and the Emirates Stadium as well as at community events.

With no fans currently being allowed into matches up and down the country, the Gunners took the opportunity to relieve Quy of his duties as part of cost-cutting measures.

At the same time, the club have been splashing the cash on improving the playing squad, including bringing in £45million midfielder Thomas Partey on transfer deadline day.

With fans from all clubs expressing sympathy for Quy's plight – and in turn that of Gunnersaurus – Ozil stepped in on Tuesday to offer to pay for the longtime club employee to keep his job.

"I was so sad that Jerry Quy aka our famous and loyal mascot Gunnersaurus and integral part of our club was being made redundant after 27 years," Ozil wrote on social media.

"As such, I'm offering to reimburse Arsenal with the full salary of our big green guy as long as I will be an Arsenal player so Jerry can continue in his job that he loves so much."

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With the German involved in his own standoff with the club over his refusal to leave before the end of his £350,000-a-week contract, his gesture is unlikely to have gone down well at the Emirates.

In responding to Ozil's pledge, an Arsenal spokesman said: “Gunnersaurus is not extinct and will return to action when fans are allowed back at matches.”

The club have not made a comment about the future of Quy.

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