Mesut Özil says that his preference would “definitely” be to sign a new contract at Arsenal. The midfielder has entered the final 12 months of his £140,000-a-week deal and, in the absence of offers from any of the European clubs who could meet his wage demands, he is set to stay at Emirates Stadium for the upcoming season.
The bigger issue has been whether Özil will re-sign at the club he joined from Real Madrid for £42.5m in 2013, with one of his options being to wait until January 2018 to see whether he gets a lucrative pre-contract offer from an overseas club relating to a free agent move in the summer.
Arsenal, though, have worked hard to put forward an attractive deal of their own, which is worth a basic £280,000 a week. So far it has been a waiting game, with Özil keen to keep his options open as he moves into the new season.
“It is definitely my preference to stay,” Özil said, at Arsenal’s launch of their new third kit in Sydney. “It is such a great club and I have always said that I feel very good at Arsenal. Once everyone is back in London, we will sit down and discuss about the future.
“For now, the most important thing is our pre-season and getting through the tour, training and getting fitness. When I’m back in London, we will sit down and discuss.”
Özil also commented on the situation of his team-mate Alexis Sánchezwho, like him, has entered the final year on his contract. Unlike Özil, though, Sánchez has elite-level suitors – with Manchester City chief among them.
“It would hit the team quite hard if he left because he’s a player who always delivers,” Özil said. “It would be a setback to winning the title but, in the end, it’s the player’s decision. I hope Alexis stays but I don’t know what the status is, to be honest.
“I value him a lot as a player and he’s very well suited to the game Arsenal play. From a personal view, I’d really appreciate if he stays. But it’s the player’s decision after all and there’s not much more I can comment on that.”