Even during the international break, rumours concerning Arsenal contracts have been rife.
Just last week it became common knowledge that negotiations between the club are their two marquee players, Ozil and Sanchez, would be put on hold until the end of the season. Already however, that appears not to be the case.
As reported by Die Welt, Ozil is confident that a decision on his future at the club will be made ‘soon’. Given that his current deal at the club doesn’t expire until 2018, should Arsenal seek to cash in on the Germany international, this summer would likely be the opportune time to do so.
Allied to the fact that Ozil has been demanding a salary of up to £20 million, and many have longed believed that a deal keeping him at the club was unlikely.
However, speaking with Die Welt, he appears intent on remaining at the Emirates. The German paper was quoted as saying;
“Do you think Arsene Wenger tells the journalists [about my future] before he tells me? I know him differently.
“I have a contract until 2018 in London and I feel very comfortable there. We’ll talk soon and then make a decision.”
“My dream is to win the Champions League. Why not with Arsenal? Of course, we just have a difficult time and are not satisfied with sixth place.
“I am convinced, however, that we will catch up again soon. Let’s see what the future holds.”
Clearly, Ozil is more intent on staying in London than many may previously have thought. Indeed in the light of Arsenal’s current form which has seen them fall to sixth in the Premier League, his comments concerning the Champions League appear particularly confusing. The Emirates faithful are likely encouraged by his comments, but perhaps they shouldn’t be.
Ozil has been one of Arsenal’s prime impediments to achieving genuine success this year, frequently going missing when his team needed him the most and only hitting his top form in games which were less than crucial to Arsenal’s season as a whole. Their 6-0 thumping of Ludogorets being a case in point. Equally emblematic of form was their 3-1 loss at Stamford Bridge in February, during which he was in absentia to put it mildly.
Allied to his patchy form is the fact that his wage demands would hamper the club’s ability to improve in other areas. Arsenal bought poorly last year, Granit Xhaka having been particularly disappointing, and the club are still in need of a genuine proven goal-scoring number 9. Purchases to alleviate such worries would likely be out of range for the club should they be forced to meet Ozil’s demands.
Ozil has looked world class at times and his nous is a joy to behold on such occasions. The fact remains however, that he has brought none of the steely grit or steel that Arsenal need, and has even reinforced the brittle perception other clubs have of them. Arsenal would be wise to think long and hard about offering the 28 year old a new contract, particularly if it would mean meeting his outlandish salary request.
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