EXCLUSIVE | By Editor
Arsenal are keen to open contract talks with Mesut Ozil in the coming months, Football Insider sources understand.
The Gunners are ready to begin negotiations with Ozil even though his current agreement has nearly three years to run.
Arsene Wenger is confident Ozil will justify his £40million club-record fee this season following improved performances since returning from a three-month injury absence in February.
Bayern Munich and Fenerbahce are among the clubs monitoring the situation of the playmaker, who turns 27 next month.
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But Arsenal do not want to cash in on Ozil, who has the total faith of Wenger and, along with the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Laurent Koscielny, Petr Cech and Aaron Ramsey, is regarded as one of the team’s most important players.
Ozil has had a mixed 18 months following his arrival from Real Madrid in the summer of 2013 but has grown more influential in recent times, with his touch and vision in the No10 role key to maximising the pace and movement of the likes of Sanchez, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The Germany international, whose current deal is worth £130,000-a-week, has started five of Arsenal’s six matches this season.
The Londoners are keen to tie down first-teamers aged under 30 to long-term contracts and the Ozil contract situation is the latest on their radar.
As revealed by Football Insider, the north London club will push ahead with contract talks with Jack Wilshere despite his latest injury setback this week. The midfielder has undergone surgery on a fractured left fibula and will be sidelined for at least three months.
Meanwhile, Nacho Monreal has signed a new deal although it has not yet been announced by the club.