Arsenal have launched an initiative to tie down several first-team stars to new contracts with Mesut Ozil first in line, reports the Mail.
Arsene Wenger could not have been happier to see the transfer window slam shut at the start of September. Once business–or lack of–was over, he and chief executive Ivan Gazidis got to work on securing the future of the players they already have.
The Gunners have made a habit of offering players contracts in batches with Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla, who announced the news as a pair, the most recent stars to commit their future to the club.
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Now Ozil is likely to get the same treatment with Arsenal set to offer him an increase on his £140,000-a-week salary. Currently tied with Alexis Sanchez and Walcott on that figure, any increase will make him the club's highest-paid player, as he was when he signed from Real Madrid in 2013.
His current contract does not expire until 2018, but Wenger is keen to make sure the German playmaker gets nowhere near the dreaded two-year mark on his current deal. The Frenchman, of course, has lost a number of first-team stars to expiring contracts in the past.
Despite struggling to hit the form he showed for Real Madrid, Ozil still stands as one of the Premier League's truly world-class stars and is arguably one of only two, perhaps three, at the Emirates.
But as he continues to adapt his game to the physicality of English football, the 26-year-old is only likely to get better. With a dynamic and devastatingly quick attack, Wenger appears to be building a team suited to Ozil's range of passing.
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