According to The Sun, Arsene Wenger has taken giant steps to securing the signature of one of the best midfielders in Europe. After months of reported talks, a breakthrough may finally have been made.
German playmaker Mesut Ozil is believed to be “very, very close” to agreeing a new three-year deal with the Gunners, flying in the face of almost every publication ruling him out of staying.
After playing down the chances of keeping him at the club, Wenger getting Ozil to extend his deal would be a major shock but a welcomed one.
The 29-year-old joined Arsenal from Real Madrid for £42.4m in 2013, and has gone on to score and create 92 goals in 173 games. Ozil has contributed seven goals in 12 games this season, and has been impressive despite the ongoing speculation surrounding his future.
The Sun’s report states Arsenal had given up their pursuit due to a lack of progress, but the Gunners have been given hope that Ozil will agree a new deal before the end of the year.
The German international would be available to sign a pre-contract deal with a foreign club in January, so Arsenal need to act fast.
He’s believed to have requested a significant raise on his current £140k-per-week wages, while also likely to command a giant signing-on bonus. But if Arsenal are unsuccessful in getting the £45m midfielder to put pen to paper, Wenger will reportedly consider a sale in January.
At best, the Gunners look to take a 50% hit on how much they paid for the midfielders four years ago, but losing him for nothing next summer would be the worst-case scenario. Manchester United have been linked, but Arsenal don’t want to strengthen a league title rival.
Real could either pay to sign their former playmaker back now, or agree a deal that would see Ozil move for free in the summer. But if Arsenal can agree a deal as reported, it would be a giant victory for Wenger.
Stats from Transfermarkt.