Arsenal Face A Battle To Keep Mesut Özil says Arsène Wenger
Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger has once again been discussing the long-running Mesut Özil contract saga.
The German international has less than two years remaining on his current £140,000 deal, with talks ongoing on a new contract (as is also the case with Alexis Sánchez and Héctor Bellerín) to tie him down on increased wages for a longer period of time.
The phrase “no news is good news” doesn’t really apply here as the longer this goes on without an announcement, the stronger Özil’s hand becomes in terms of negotiating power.
Wenger, speaking to the media after his side’s 3-2 win against Swansea at the Emirates on Saturday (in which the play-maker scored a fine volley), reaffirmed his confidence that Özil will sign a new contract but admitted that money could become an issue (as his demands are now reportedly in excess of £200,000 per week).
“I don’t think he needs convincing. He wants to stay here. But if you have a good bank, call me.”
Wenger went on to state that Özil would need to be convinced that Arsenal can sustain their early of good form this season – the Gunners have not been involved in the closing stages in a title race in over a decade and the manager accepts that this will have to change if they are to keep hold of their best players.
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!”
The Mirror’s John Cross reports that Arsenal have become slightly less confident than they had been all along in convincing the German international to commit his future to the club, and staying in touch with the Premier League leaders (or even taking on that mantle themselves) could be crucial in negotiations.