As summer preparation for next season will be disrupted slightly by many players’ involvement in the European Championships, Arsenal were hoping to have Mesut Özil’s contract situation sorted by now.
Instead, he is set to fly to France as party of the Germany squad with the deal very much unsigned.
Both Özil and Alexis Sánchez have been in negotiations with the club in recent months as both will going into the last two years of their current deals – and while Sánchez’s future is looking on slightly shaky ground, Arsenal are apparently far more confident of tying down their £42m record signing with a reported £200,000 per week offer.
The former Real Madrid star seemed very relaxed about the whole situation this week, though did not give assurances either way about his plans for the future.
While on a visit to the Arsenal Soccer School in Dubai, Özil was slightly ambivalent when discussing the matter, insisting that the contract talk could wait until after his involvement with Germany:
“I have more two years contract with Arsenal and at the moment I’m concentrated in the Euro 2016 – and what happens with Arsenal we will see together in the future.”
Although that does not directly hint at a departure from the Emirates, his further comments relating to what went wrong this season – having already been the subject of a private dressing-down from manager Arsène Wenger earlier this season for a similar outburst, for the 27 year old to publicly criticise his own team again will surely not go down well with the Arsenal boss.
“We dropped a lot of points which we shouldn’t have dropped against smaller teams and that was the point in the season where we were just not strong enough as a team to take a one point sometimes and go ahead.
“Especially after the Barcelona game, we lost points. That was the time in the team where we weren’t good enough to take the points and go.”
He did, however, clarify that he thought that Arsenal had a good end to the season, finishing as runners-up to Leciester by pipping Tottenham to second place on the last day of the Premier League season.
Though the contract situation could well be sorted before the new season even begins, one or two have already started to hit panic mode…
@MartinWengrow can’t blame him after last summer.
— Block99 (@BlockNinety8) May 17, 2016
@ArsenalReport I’m checking the french 3rd division personally after Ozil and sanchez leave#kroenkeout has a super ranch to run.Sod us plebs
— r jaykins (@dontbegwim) May 17, 2016
Ozil please don’t leave ?❤️
— Naziha (@nazeehaa_A) May 17, 2016
if giroud is our first choice striker next season, the first person who’s going to leave is ozil and then sanchez
— karan (@welbxck) May 17, 2016
Why is ozil stalling on his contract? Like he hasn’t won same amount of trophies with Arsenal as with Madrid
— ChrizJnr (@chrizjnr) May 17, 2016
That the contract negotiations have been allowed to spill over into pre-season is not ideal for either player or club ahead of what will be a busy summer of both arrivals and departures.
Arsenal will remain confident, however, that Özil’s long term future is to remain at the Emirates.