Arsenal superstars caught in gang war
ARSENAL duo Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac have been left in the middle of a North London gang war, with Gunners manager Unai Emery clueless as to when they'll be safe to play again.
The pair have been forced to hire 24-hour security protection following the arrest of two men outside Ozil's mansion late last Thursday night (local time), with police still investigating "credible threats" against the players.
Ozil and Kolasinac escaped unharmed when an pair of armed attackers assaulted the duo in a daylight attack in North London.
Shocking CCTV footage showed Kolasinac fighting off the would-be muggers, before the duo were chased down a busy North London street by attackers riding a moped.
The players drove to a nearby Turkish restaurant, where the attackers were scared off by staff.
But the situation has worsened, with multiple reports of a developing gang war after a pair of arrests were made on Thursday night outside Ozil's $A16 million London mansion.
Two men were charged by Metropolitan Police following a late-night confrontation with security officers posted outside Ozil's house.
The frightened star had hired around-the-clock protection including a canine patrol unit, while Kolasinac's wife, Bella, reportedly flew to Germany to escape the situation.
English papers are reporting Kolasinac's London home was also targeted late on Thursday evening.
Due to safety concerns the club took the unprecedented move last Friday of leaving the duo out of Arsenal's Premier League opener, citing "further security incidents".
The statement said: "Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac will not be part of the squad for our opening match against Newcastle United following further security incidents which are being investigated by the police.
"The welfare of our players and their families is always a top priority and we have taken this decision following discussion with the players and their representatives."
The attacks were reportedly in response to a declaration by a rival eastern European gang that Ozil (from Germany) and Kolasinac (born in Germany to Bosnian parents) were "off limits" and not to be targeted again, according to reports from The Times and The Sun.
There is no suggestion that Ozil or Kolasinac were aware of the eastern European gangsters or involved in that declaration.
But the original attackers seemingly responded to that declaration with increased threats towards the players, leading to the pair of arrests last Thursday night.
The Sun quoted a source as saying: "Word came back from the other gangsters that they would not be intimidated.
"To show they were serious, the thugs issued more threats to the Arsenal players and refused to be cowed.
"It was thought that originally the robbers wanted their watches, but now they have been told that they want everything the pair have."
Police are continuing to investigate the situation, with reports claiming the players and their wives have also been targeted online.
Both men did not train on Friday ahead of Arsenal's 1-0 away win over Newcastle, and it is unclear when they will return to action for the Gunners.
Following the match, coach Unai Emery said this: "The club is managing that circumstance.
"And we went to be with them as soon as possible. And with normality training and with normality to be ready for play."
"But I don't know now when they will be available."