Arsene Wenger insists he “genuinely thinks” Mesut Ozil wants to remain at Arsenal as talks regarding his future continue.
Ozil’s contract at the Emirates expires at the end of the season, meaning that he is free to negotiate a pre-contract deal with teams outside of England from January.
However, Arsenal boss Wenger is confident the German wants to prolong his stay at the north London side while he has labelled the No 10 as amongst the world’s best.
“I cannot tell you what is in his mind. I genuinely think he wants to stay. But I am always positive about that,” he said.
Since arriving from Real Madrid in 2013 for £42.5m, Ozil has made 121 Premier League appearances and provided 42 assists; a record, Wenger says, that means Ozil warrants a spot in the Arsenal side.
“We live in the world where people have opinions and sometimes they are right and sometimes they are not always proven right on the longer period,” added Wenger.
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“You need players who have quality and Ozil is one of the best players in the world.”
Jack Wilshere’s contract is also due to expire in the summer but the midfielder first must prove his fitness if he is to be offered a new Arsenal deal.
Wenger is confident the 25-year old England international can make Gareth Southgate’s squad to Russia in June if he avoids injury during the rest of the campaign.
“If the competition was less ferocious, he is ready to play. I wouldn’t be scared to play him,” Wenger said.
“What I mean is that when I go to Europa League, people think I give the same importance. In the Premier League he can play, he is nearly back to his best now.”