Arsenal are said to be close to ending one of the their two main contract dilemmas going into the new season after having made a breakthrough in talks with Mesut Ozil over a new deal.
The German midfielder has entered the final-year of his contract with the Gunners and has been in talks with the club since last season. Arsene Wenger has been adamant that Ozil will remain with the club, having joined in what was a club-record deal from Real Madrid in 2014.
The Germany international was said to be demanding around £350,000-a-week ($454,895) to sign a new deal, but Arsenal were unwilling to match his demands. According to the Sun, the north London club have offered £280,000-a-week, which the midfielder is now ready to accept and commit his long-term future to the club.
Ozil recently revealed that he wants to remain at Arsenal and indicated that talks will resume following the club's pre-season tour of Australia and China. It will come as a big relief for the club and its supporters to hear that one of their key players will remain at the club beyond the summer.
"It is definitely my preference to stay," Ozil said at the launch of the club's Puma-made third kit, as quoted by the Express. "It is such a great club and I have always said that I feel very good at Arsenal. Once everyone is back in London we will sit down and discuss about the future.
"For now the most important thing is our pre-season and getting through the tour, training and getting fitness. When I'm back in London, we will sit down and discuss."
Once Ozil's contract situation is sorted out, all the focus will be on Alexis Sanchez, who has thus far refused to divulge any details about his future plans. All the Chilean has said is that he wants to play in the Champions League and win Europe's elite club competition before the end of his career.
Wenger has made it clear that Arsenal will not sell the forward this summer even if it means losing him on a free transfer next season. Sanchez is still on holiday owing to his international commitments in the summer and is expected to return to training later this month. Ozil has urged his teammate to remain in north London, but it remains to be seen if he commits to staying beyond the upcoming campaign.