Arsenal have opened talks with Mesut Ozil and his representatives over a contract extension, reports ESPN.
Reports surfaced over the weekend claiming Arsene Wenger was keen to tie Ozil's long-term future to the Emirates outfit. Those reports, sparked by the Sunday Mirror, added little to an earlier report from the Daily Mail – published in September – which claimed the same thing.
However, ESPN have gone one step further. They claim that talks between Ozil and Arsenal are underway, and a source within the club has claimed all parties are confident of coming to an agreement in the near future.
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Ozil still has two-and-a-half years on his deal, but after a stellar start to the season Wenger is keen to make sure there are no questions with regards to the future of his best players. Previously, the Gunners boss has allowed contracts to run into their final 18 months before opening renewal talks, but that has lead to trouble in the past, most notably with Theo Walcott in 2013.
The Germany international remains Arsenal's record signing after joining from Real Madrid for £42.4million in 2013 and is also the club's joint-highest earner on £140,000-a-week. Walcott joined him on that wage earlier this year, but Ozil is likely to earn a sizeable pay rise after re-emerging as Europe's premier playmaker.
Having initially struggled to adapt to the Premier League, Ozil is breaking all kinds of records with his efforts this season. He has already tallied ten assists this season – more than any other player in Europe's top five leagues.
Not only that, but the 27-year-old has also created more chances than any other player in the same category. He has created several clear-cut chances that have been spurned by Olivier Giroud & Co.
The result: if Arsenal had a clinical striker, Ozil would have only accumulated more assists.
Now enjoy seven minutes of Mesut Ozil's 2015/16 season so far: