Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has revealed that contract negotiations with Mesut Ozil are “moving along” as all connected to the club await news.
The German international’s current deal runs until the summer of 2018, and along with the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Hector Bellerin, there is growing concern from an Arsenal perspective over the delay in ensuring the influential individuals sign new long-term deals with the club.
Wenger has moved to allay those fears, despite the fact that talks were said to have been reopened in September, although there was no suggestion that an agreement was close.
“[There is] nothing really concrete enough to talk about it. It’s moving along,” he said in his pre-match press conference ahead of facing Sunderland this weekend, as reported by the Evening Standard.
It builds on comments made by Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis at the club’s AGM this week, also noted in the report, where he insisted that the Gunners were in a stronger position now to compete in terms of wage structures with their rivals and are building a strong track record of keeping their best players.
Given their recent history in which the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy, Kolo Toure and Thierry Henry to name but a few all moved on to rivals around Europe and many in England, it will be refreshing for many Arsenal supporters to hear that the priority is to keep individuals like Ozil and that the club has the finances to do so.
Nevertheless, until an agreement is reached and pen is put to paper, it will still be an anxious wait for many with Wenger ultimately focusing his attention on maintaining his side’s strong start to the campaign and ensuring that they compete for silverware this year.
In turn, that will help his cause when convincing Ozil and others to sign new long-term deals with the Premier League title firmly in their sights this season.