Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil has revealed that he expects contract negotiations to continue with the club in the coming months.
The German international arrived in a £42.4m deal from Real Madrid in 2013, as noted by BBC Sport, and has gone on to score 16 goals and provide 35 assists in 85 Premier League appearances since.
While his current deal runs until 2018, there has been a sense of nervousness over the lack of serious progress in talks over a new contract, but Ozil has moved to calm fears that there may be bigger issues involved.
“I have a contract until 2018,” Ozil said, as reported by German newspaper Express. “We have had discussions, but they were suspended for the European Championship.
“I wanted to focus at this time only on the national team. Now we look to continue the negotiations.”
While that clears up that issue, the Gunners could have another problem on their hands as the former Real Madrid ace has revealed that he has his eyes set on the No.10 jersey.
Following Lukas Podolski’s retirement from international football, Ozil has got the number he wanted for the German national team.
However, he has a slight obstacle standing in his way at the Emirates, with Jack Wilshere currently holding the number.
The 24-year-old secured a season-long loan move to Bournemouth this week, and so time will tell as to whether or not he has a long-term future at Arsenal as he is ultimately fighting to prove his fitness and form.
Handing the No.10 jersey to Ozil could be interpreted negatively by Wilshere and others, but by snubbing the request, which evidently means a lot to the German creative genius, it could create issues in their contract talks.
“It has become free and I will definitely have it,” Ozil added in the same interview. “I did a few years ago have this number [with Germany], but Lukas Podolski wanted it. He had more matches than I did. Now I have access.
“Of course I’ve previously given those in charge [at Arsenal] a signal. The number is right for me and my position as playmaker.
“For me, the number means a lot. It is my favourite number. Football legends such as Zinedine Zidane, Diego Maradona and Pele have had this number on their back.”
It remains to be seen as to whether or not Ozil gets his wish, but ultimately it looks like it could put Arsenal in a difficult position moving forward, one that they would much rather not to have to deal with as Ozil and Wilshere will likely both be seen as key pieces moving forward.