Thursday 14 December 2017

'Mesut Ozil must leave Arsenal to win major titles,' says Michael Ballack

Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil shows his frustration during the Premier League defeat to Watford. Photo: REUTERS
Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil shows his frustration during the Premier League defeat to Watford. Photo: REUTERS

Callum Davis

Former Chelsea and Bayern Munich midfielder Michael Ballack has insisted Mesut Ozil will have to leave Arsenal if he wants to win 'major titles'.

Ballack has claimed he will have a greater chance of adding to his medal collection if he joins German giants - and Arsenal's last 16 Champions League opponents - Bayern Munich.

Ozil has less than 18 months left on his Arsenal contract and has so far failed to sign a new extension to his current deal at the Emirates.

It is understood the playmaker is keen to sign a new deal - but his £200,000-a-week wage demands have proved a sticking point during ongoing negotiations.

Ballack, who won the Premier League title and three FA Cups whilst at Chelsea, has urged his fellow countryman to return to Germany if he has ambitions of winning more silverware.

"Mesut is an amazing player. He knows that he is one of the undisputed stars at Arsenal. A lot of clubs would love to have him," Ballack said in an interview with Bild.

"He lives in London, one of the most beautiful cities ever. To this end, Arsenal is a club that has an incredible impact on the world.

"If you are a top player in England, the cult around you is bigger than in Germany. You are treated more respectfully, especially. These are all reasons for an extension.

"But if he wants to win a major title, he has a bigger chance to achieve that at Bayern."

Arsene Wenger has admitted Arsenal might have to 'break the bank' in order to keep the 28-year-old at the Emirates.

Wenger said: “I don’t think he needs convincing. He wants to stay here. But if you have a good bank, call me.

“It’s not just money. Arsenal can win titles of course. But that’s what we have to show. We are in a league where Man City, Man United, Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea everybody fights and you cannot guarantee that to anybody.

“We keep that (negotiations) discreet. At due time we will come out with that. We want to keep our best players, of course. But the more I say that, the more he is in a stronger position!”

Ballack recently joined Arsenal's Mesut Ozil and Per Mertesacker to watch an NBA match between Indiana Pacers and Denver Nuggets at the O2 earlier this year.

Arsenal have twice won the FA Cup since Mesut Ozil arrived for £42m in 2013, however failure to win the Premier League for the past 12 years has seen pressure mount on manager, Arsene Wenger.

Premier League top goalscorer Alexis Sanchez is also yet to sign a new contract with the club.

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