Ozil coy on Ar­se­nal

French­man in­sists it is not just money be­cause Gun­ners can still win sil­ver­ware

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports International -

BY RIATH AL-SAMARRAI/ Arsene Wenger was dis­cussing Me­sut Ozil’s un­signed con­tract when he made a quip: “If you have a good bank, call me.”

There was one of those lit­tle Wenger smiles but it is no joke that Ar­se­nal will need to break the bank, or at the very least their wage struc­ture, given that Ozil is thought to want about £200,000 (Sh24.6m) a week to ex­tend his deal be­yond 2018.

Yet the pro­tracted dis­cus­sions are fo­cus­ing on more than fi­nances, as it is Ozil’s firm de­sire to be part of a ti­tle-win­ning team. Prov­ing that Ar­se­nal are ca­pa­ble of that will be just as im­por­tant, Wenger has re­vealed.

He said: “I don’t think he needs con­vinc­ing. He wants to stay here. If you have a good bank, call me.

“It’s not just money. Ar­se­nal can win ti­tles of course. But that’s what we have to show.

“We are in a league where Manch­ester City, Manch­ester United, Liver­pool, Tot­ten­ham, Chelsea, ev­ery­body fights and you can­not guar­an­tee that.” Asked if Ozil, who cur­rently earns £140,000 (Sh17,3m) a week, and the club are far apart in their talks, Wenger said: “We keep that dis­creet. At due time we will come out with that.

“To­day it’s not my main worry. We want to keep our best play­ers, of course. The more I say that, the more he is in a stronger po­si­tion.”

Ozil’s po­si­tion was en­hanced here. His vol­ley to put Ar­se­nal 3-1 ahead was beau­ti­ful, not to men­tion cru­cial in lift­ing his team level on points with Manch­ester City.

That Ar­se­nal nearly coughed up a sixth straight league win was a con­cern for Wenger, who be­lieves his side need more of a ‘rig­or­ous at­ti­tude’ if they are to chase the ti­tle.

He said: “We are all con­scious that we still have some things to im­prove in our game. We have to go a step higher up to go the next level.

“We have to keep our rig­or­ous at­ti­tude. You al­ways do what the game de­mands.”

New Swansea man­ager Bob Bradley ad­mit­ted he has his “work cut out” to keep the Welsh club up.

He said: “In the mo­ment we un­der­stand that it’s been a tough stretch and when you look at the ta­ble this week you un­der­stand that our work is cut out for us.”

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