By Editor Wayne Veysey | Former Evening Standard, Press Association and Goal chief correspondent with 17 years experience of breaking big stories, including exclusives like this
Follow me on Twitter @footyinsider247
Arsenal are in talks with Mesut Ozil about a new contract worth a staggering £51.5million, Football Insider sources understand.
Ozil wants a deal that elevate his basic salary by £50,000-a-week to £180,000-a-week and make him comfortably the best-paid player in Arsenal’s history.
Arsene Wenger’s public stance is that the Londoners have not yet begun contract talks with the German playmaker but, behind the scenes, both parties are working on a deal.
A senior Arsenal dressing room source has told Football Insider that discussions are centred around a five-and-a-half-year agreement that will run until 2021 and will be worth £51.5million.
Football Insider revealed last month that the first meeting had taken place between Gunners chiefs and the German’s camp even though his current agreement does not expire until 2018.
Ozil currently earns £130,000-a-week, which makes him the club’s equal top earner along with Alexis Sanchez. Only manager Arsene Wenger earns more than Arsenal’s two most expensive ever signings.
Bayern Munich and Fenerbahce are among the clubs monitoring the situation of the playmaker, who turned 27 last month.
But Arsenal do not want to cash in on Ozil, who is regarded by Wenger, along with the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Laurent Koscielny, Petr Cech and Aaron Ramsey, as one of the team’s most important players.
He tops the Premier League assists chart this season with 10, three more than his closest competitor in Europe’s five main leagues and four more than the next best in England – David Silva, with six.
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 in September, the north London club will push ahead with contract talks with Jack Wilshere despite the midfielder being sidelined until Christmas with a fractured fibula.
Meanwhile, Nacho Monreal has signed a new deal although it has not yet been announced by the club.