According to ESPN FC, Arsenal has opened contract talks with Mesut Özil and is confident of securing a new deal with the German playmaker.
Özil signed for Arsenal in 2013 for a club record £42.5 million from Real Madrid.
He started brightly for the club, but endured a rough end to his first season at the club, largely due to injuries. His second season at the club saw him return as a World Cup winner with Germany, but his club form subsequently dipped and he was injured against Chelsea in early October 2014.
Özil returned from injury in January 2015 and exhibited the form that made him Arsenal’s record signing. His blistering form continued into the current season and he is currently the league leader in assists. He has six assists in six straight league matches, pushing his assist tally in the Premier League to 10 and putting him on course for a record season.
Özil’s current deal ends in 2018, however, Arsenal are determined to reward their star playmaker for his fine form. They are hoping that by extending the contracts of a number of star players two years before the end of their contracts, they will retain the services of the majority of the key players in the squad.
Over the past three years we have seen Arsenal retain the services of all their top players. This was not the case in the past due to financial restrictions caused by the construction of the Emirates Stadium.
Samir Nasri and Alex Song were sold because their wage demands were too high for the club’s wage structure. Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie left as well, although their departures were down to the club being unable to field a title challenging team due to their inability to offer competitive contracts, rather than high contract demands from both players.
Arsene Wenger has already extended the contracts of Santi Cazorla and Theo Walcott, and reports a month ago indicated that the club has opened contract extension talks with Alexis Sanchez whose deal also runs out in 2018.
Extending the contracts of Özil and Alexis would be more proof that the club is able to financially compete with the top clubs again, and that their future expectations are set at a high bar.