Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta admits Mesut Ozil future at the club is uncertain but he insists the Gunners won't be looking to terminate his contract this month.
The German World Cup winner wasn't registered to play in the Premier League in the first half of this season and has been frozen out of the first-team, failing to make a matchday squad in any competition this term.
Defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos has also been out of Arteta's plans and both players' current deals will expire in the summer.
"You have to respect the players' contracts," the Gunners' boss said when asked about the prospect of terminating Ozil or Sokratis' contracts.
"What you can do is just try to be open with them, tell them your intentions, the role that they have in the team and why that is. They are entitled to make the decision in their lives because they have a contract here.
"When a player doesn't play, it is really difficult to be happy. The profession is to play football. When they are sitting on the bench, they are being supportive of the team but they are not doing what they love in this life.
"At the end of the day, you have to find minutes for everybody, but you need some consistency as well in your line-ups. When we have four competitions it's much easier, it's healthier.
"There is another factor, that we have a large squad this season. There are players that don't play at all. There are players, even in the squad, they know they are not going to have any chance.
"That is tough mentally for them, to maintain that motivation and positivity around the place for a lot of months. That's a big task."