As good as Arsenal’s start to the season has been, the contract situations of Mesut Özil and Alexis Sánchez have been an issue coming slowly over the horizon.
The star duo are currently under contract at the Emirates until 2018, but negotiations over new deals had stalled and genuine doubts had begun to creep in regarding their long-term futures at the club.
However, it looks as though Arsenal fans can sleep soundly (in Özil’s case at least) as German publication Bild are this morning reporting that the 27-year-old has verbally agreed a contract extension with the club.
Özil did not start this season in the best vein of form, but as the team has improved so has the playmaker, and his performance in the 3-0 win against Chelsea last weekend was stunning, and gave Arsenal a timely reminder of why they can ill-afford to lose him.
— The Fantasy Football (@TheFantasyFB) September 25, 2016
The actual specifics of the deal have not been made clear, other than the fact that it will result in a massive pay increase and add several years to the contract.
Interestingly, the report also claims that one of the terms of the agreement is that Özil will receive the number ten shirt, recently vacated by Jack Wilshere when he moved on loan to Bournemouth (though he is to return next summer).
— Henning Feindt (@Karlo_Kolumna) September 27, 2016
With Özil’s negotiations seemingly coming to a close, attention will soon turn to the harder task of tying Alexis down on similar terms. The 27-year-old was strongly linked with a move to Juventus in the summer amid reports of the player’s unhappiness in London, and convincing him to stay will not be an easy task.
If Arsenal aren’t still in the title race in a few months, they could face an almighty battle on their hands to keep hold of the talismanic forward.