Ozil in talks on new contract, says agent
Midfielder wants to extend stay in England German’s Arsenal deal set to expire in summer
Mesut Ozil’s agent has claimed that talks over extending the German’s contract at Arsenal are progressing, despite their seemingly interminable nature.
Discussions about a contract – which ends next summer – began more than a year ago when Ozil’s status was higher. Now, with his client having played only seven minutes in the club’s last six unbeaten games, Erkut Sogut has made encouraging noises. “Ozil wants to play another two to three years in the Premier League,” he said. “Our contacts with Arsenal continue and are going in a positive way.”
It is believed that Arsenal made offers approaching £300,000 a week for Ozil to extend his deal previously but, with his form having wavered and the team playing well without him, there must be some doubt over whether the club would still be willing to commit such a large chunk of their budget.
Manager Arsene Wenger has always had huge faith in Ozil and, although he has generally started him even after dispensing with the specialist No 10 role in his new 3-4-2-1 system, there is increased
Fallen hero: Mesut Ozil’s stock has fallen since talks began more than a year ago
competition for only three attacking places. Ozil is in contention to return following injury and start against Watford on Saturday, but Danny Welbeck is also available and Theo Walcott is another competing for a place with Alexandre Lacazette, Alexis Sanchez, Alex Iwobi and Olivier Giroud.
Ozil joined Arsenal from Real Madrid in what was then a club-record £42.5million deal in September 2013. Despite entering the last year of his contract, there were no big offers last summer, although Besiktas and Manchester United have looked at taking him on a free transfer next year.
Ozil enjoyed a productive period under Jose Mourinho at Madrid, although he was then part of a formidable attack that included Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema.
Laurent Koscielny is preparing to ease Arsenal’s injury problems at centre-back on Saturday by returning despite only limited first-team training.
The France defender missed both recent internationals and has not played since Arsenal’s 2-0 win against West Bromwich Albion more than two weeks ago due to an Achilles tendon injury, but there is hope that the period of rest will be sufficient for him to start.
His return is welcome as Shkodran Mustafi is out after suffering a thigh injury playing for Germany on Sunday, while Sead Kolasinac went off injured during Bosnia’s game on Tuesday, although he is likely to be fit for the weekend.