EXCLUSIVE | By Editor Wayne Veysey 

Mesut Ozil wants a new contract that will make him comfortably the best-paid player in Arsenal’s history, Football Insider sources understand.

The German playmaker is seeking a £50,000-a-week pay rise that will elevate his basic salary to £180,000-a-week.

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Such a sum would be worth a staggering £46.7million over the course of a five-year deal.

As revealed by Football Insider, Arsenal have opened preliminary contract discussions with Ozil. The first meeting has taken place between Gunners chiefs and the German’s camp even though his current agreement has nearly three years to run.

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.

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 turned 27 this 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.

Banking it: Mesut Ozil is one of Arsenal's top earners

Banking it: Mesut Ozil is one of Arsenal’s top earners

He was outstanding in the Gunners’ 3-0 victory over Manchester United before the international break and followed up by another fine display in Saturday’s 3-0 triumph against Watford.

The Germany international has started 11 of Arsenal’s 13 matches this season and, after setting up two goals against Watford, tops the Premier League assists chart, alongside 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 last month, the north London club will push ahead with contract talks with Jack Wilshere despite his latest injury setback. The midfielder has undergone surgery on a fractured left fibula and will be sidelined for until Christmas.

Meanwhile, Nacho Monreal has signed a new deal although it has not yet been announced by the club.