Mesut Ozil is finally prepared to sign a new contract at Arsenal but has one demand before putting pen to paper, according to reports.
Ozil’s contract at the Emirates Stadium expires at the end of the season, which means he is free to speak to any club he wishes in January and sign a pre-contract agreement.
But the German’s high wages have reportedly put many potential suitors off, and Ozil is happy enough to remain in north London.
He does, however, want to have a new number on the back of his jersey, the number 10, currently held by Jack Wilshere, before he signs a new deal, according to The Sun.
Ozil has been at Arsenal since 2013 when he was signed for a then-club record transfer. He has won two FA Cups with Arsene Wenger but has been frequently criticized for failing to be the talisman the team needs.
Alexis Sanchez, meanwhile, who is also out of contract at the end of the season, still looks unlikely to sign a new deal. The Chilean forward could leave the Emirates Stadium as early as January as Arsenal looks to get some form of fee for him.
Manchester City has shown interest in him. Pep Guardiola’s team submitted a bid for Sanchez on the final day of the summer transfer window but Arsenal was too slow to find a replacement for him, so the deal collapsed.
Wenger and Arsenal have been unable to show Sanchez that the club will, once again, be a force in the Premier League after slipping to sixth in the table after 11 games and already lagging 12 points behind City.
The idea of Sanchez joining Guardiola’s squad is an ominous prospect for the rest of the league, as he would be another option in attack alongside Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus, who have scored 15 goals between them.
The transfer window reopens on January 1 for a month.