Arsene Wenger admits that contract talks with Mesut Ozil are currently on hold but he still harbours hopes of persuading the World Cup winner to sign a new deal.
The Germany international is free to sign a pre-contract agreement with foreign suitors in 109 days meaning the Gunners would miss out on a fee for a man they broke their transfer record to sign back in 2013.
“Of course [I am hopeful],” the Frenchman said prior to Arsenal’s Europa League clash with Köln.
“The contract talks have slowed down a little bit since August 31, because we need a little breather and to focus on the competition. But we will slowly get back into that.”
While on the pre-season tour of Australia, Ozil outlined his ambitions to stay at the Emirates claiming talks would begin once back in London.
“Once everyone is back in London we will sit down and discuss about the future,” he said.
“It is definitely my preference to stay, it is such a great club and I have always said that I feel very good at Arsenal.
“For now the most important thing is our pre-season and getting through the tour, training and getting fitness. When I’m back in London, we will sit down and discuss.”
Nothing, so far, appears to have come of that despite suggestions Arsenal were willing to double the player’s salary. Are the Premier League’s rules about annual club salary raises stopping us from offering Ozil a deal? It’s more than possible.
Right now, the odds seem stacked in the favour of our number 11 leaving the club.