Belfast Telegraph

Mesut Ozil will wait to hear Wenger's plans before putting pen to paper at Arsenal

By Jim Van Wijk

Mesut Ozil will not sign a new deal at Arsenal until he gets clarity on Arsene Wenger's long-term future.

The Germany star has yet to pen a fresh contract at the Gunners, with his current deal having 18 months left to run.

Both Ozil and team-mate Alexis Sanchez are reportedly seeking parity with the Premier League's top earners before putting pen to paper on extensions.

Ozil, Arsenal's club-record signing, has missed the last three games through illness but is a major part of Wenger's search for silverware.

The 28-year-old has hit nine goals this season and said Wenger's presence is the main reason he is at Arsenal.

Wenger has been at the helm for over 20 years but his own deal expires at the end of the season and Ozil is keen to know what the future holds for the Frenchman before he commits beyond 2018.

"I feel very, very good with Arsenal and have shown my willingness to extend my contract with the club," he said.

"The fans want me to stay. Now it's down to the club. The club know that I'm here above all because of Arsene Wenger, who brought me here and whose trust in me I enjoy.

"The club also know that I want to have clarity about what the manager is doing."

He also played down suggestions he was holding out for a bumper pay-rise and reacted with indifference to recent comments made by former Arsenal favourite Thierry Henry.

Henry said both Sanchez and Ozil were holding the club "hostage" over their wage demands.

But Ozil said the club's all-time record goalscorer does not know enough about the situation to be able to comment.

"Everyone has the right to say their views," he said.

"But these comments don't interest me. Such former players or other people who weigh in with their opinions don't know what's actually being said between the club and me."

Wenger has said he does not want to discuss his own future until towards the end of the campaign and has insisted he will not let Ozil and Sanchez leave before their contracts expire, even if they end up going for free.

Olivier Giroud says he is close to reaching an agreement to a contract extension with Arsenal and hopes to "continue the adventure" at the Emirates.

The 30-year-old France striker has returned to the side in recent weeks to score four goals in as many appearances.

Giroud's last-minute goal helped beat Preston in the FA Cup third round on Saturday, which came after he netted in stoppage time to secure a dramatic 3-3 comeback draw at Bournemouth just two days following his "scorpion kick" effort in the win over Crystal Palace.

While still having around a year-and-a-half left on his current deal, the forward, signed from Montpellier in June 2012, hopes to soon tie-up his long-term future with the Gunners.

Giroud said: "We are about to reach an agreement for an extension.

"It was also a gesture of confidence, I want to continue the adventure here in this family of Arsenal. I feel good here.

"I know what I am capable of. I just needed to be patient and wait for my hour to come."

Belfast Telegraph


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