Mesut Ozil is understood to be on £140,000 a week at Arsenal. With just one year left on his contract and with the club eager to keep him, an extension would seem light a straightforward undertaking, though that is far from the case.
In a post-match press conference following a game with Swansea last season Arsene Wenger insisted that “he (Ozil) wants to stay”, however what seems more likely is that Ozil wants a bumper new contract and is using the threat of leaving on a free as leverage.
As pointed out in ‘The Guardian’, the departure of players from Arsenal with just one year left on their contracts is a well established problem, in the past both Samir Nasri and Robin Van Persie left for Manchester City and Manchester United respectively when they were in the position Ozil now finds himself in, whilst Alexis Sanchez looks like he could do the same this summer.
Where does that leave the German? Well, Ozil is understood to have been offered a 100% pay rise by Arsenal, a deal that would increases his wages to £280,000 a week, but he still looks no closer to signing a new deal, similarly he was rumoured to be waiting to see what the future held for manager Arsene Wenger before committing to the club, but Wenger has since signed a two-year extension and there is still no sign of any movement from Ozil.
In reality though, how many of the biggest teams in the world, those who could afford such wages, would be interested in the player? The likes of Man Utd, Man City, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Barcelona, PSG and Bayern could certainly afford him but the same source claims that there have been no enquiries from any of those sides for the player.
Ozil is left with a very big decision in a World Cup year, commit to Arsenal or hold out until January and look to cash in on a lucrative free transfer. Though given the dangers that come with the latter option, who knows what the player will decide. Any sort of loss of form or long-term injury would be very bad news indeed if the former Real Madrid man opted to run his contract down.
Perhaps a bigger concern for Arsenal is how they have allowed the likes of Ozil, Sanchez, Gibbs, Ramsey, Szczesny, Wilshere, Cazorla and Mertesacker all to enter into the last 12 months of their contracts without doing very much about it.