Sunday 4 December 2016

Breakthrough in Mesut Ozil talks as German nears agreement with Arsenal

Jack de Menezes

Published 15/11/2016 | 11:51

Arsenal's Mesut Ozil
Arsenal's Mesut Ozil

Arsenal have reached a breakthrough in their negotiations with Mesut Özil with the midfielder closing in on a new long-term deal that will see him rewarded with a £200,000-a-week salary.

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Özil is one of a number of key first-team players at Arsenal who are heading towards the end of their contracts, with his deal set to expire at the end of next season. Alexis Sanchez also sees his contract end in 2018, although the club have been active in opening negotiations with the Chile international as well as holding talks with Özil.

Fears arose last month that Arsenal were struggling to move those negotiations forward with the World Cup winner demanding £200,000-a-week to commit his future to the Premier League club. Özil was initially concerned that Arsenal lacked the ambition to challenge for the Premier League title as well as in Europe last season, but his fears were eased by the Gunners’ transfer business in the summer.

Arsenal fans will be delighted to discover today that a breakthrough has finally arrived with Özil, according to The Mirror. The 28-year-old is said to be the closest to signing the contract extension he has been than at any other point, and Arsenal are willing to give Özil a significant rise on his current weekly wage of £140,000-a-week.

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Any agreement will keep Özil as the club’s highest-paid player at the Emirates, with Sanchez currently on £130,000-a-week. However, the Chilean is also in discussions over a £200,000-a-week deal, although he remains much further from reaching a conclusion to the drawn-out talks.

Özil is understood to be happy in London and also pleased with life at Arsenal, with the side currently on a 16-match unbeaten run that dates back to the opening weekend of the Premier League season.

That said, Arsenal need to secure the futures of Sanchez and Özil sooner rather than later, as if they reach the end of the season with new deals agreed, the pair will suddenly hold the pulling power in trying to force a move away from the club. Arsenal have already seen how a player with 12 months remaining on their contract can get their way in the transfer window, with the Gunners deciding to sell Robin van Persie four years ago rather than risk losing him on a free transfer the following year.

The pair are not the only ones facing uncertain futures at the Emirates. Both Santi Cazorla and Per Mertesacker are out of contract this season, although the club appear to be much more relaxed on their current situations and have prioritised Özil and Sanchez as a result.

(© Independent News Service)

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