Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has admitted that Mesut Ozil could leave the club next summer amid rumours the German was contemplating joining Manchester United on a free transfer once his contract expires.
Ozil’s contract expires at the end of the 2017/18 campaign and it was thought that the 28-year-old would sign a new deal over the summer.
But no such agreement has been reached and Jose Mourinho, in turn, is reportedly confident of luring him to Old Trafford after the pair developed a strong working relationship at Real Madrid.
However, when asked whether talks with Ozil over a new contract were unfolding positively, he replied: “That is my understanding. The fact we didn’t agree last year doesn’t mean he wants to leave,” he said.
“Both players look happy and overall I hope the situation can be turned round, but at the moment we are not close enough to announce anything. Talks are going well.”
But the boss admitted that there was always a possibility that Ozil, along with Alexis Sanchez, could depart from the club next summer.
“Once you are in our kind of situation you have envisaged every solution, yes. It’s possible.”
I wouldn’t read much into the notion that “talks are going well”. How many times, after all, has David Davis insisted that discussions with Michel Barnier were going well, whereas in actual fact the two parties have absolutely nothing to agree on.
That said, Ozil is less likely to depart the club than Sanchez, who came close to joining Manchester City last summer. You sense that, at this point, the German could be swayed either way.
Perhaps now is the time for Mourinho to step in with an offer Ozil cannot refuse.