Mesut Özil insists he feels “very, very good” at Arsenal but wants to know the long-term future of manager Arsène Wenger before he commits to signing a new deal.
The Germany midfielder has yet to agree a fresh contract at the Emirates, with his current deal having 18 months to run.
It was reported last month that both Özil and team-mate Alexis Sánchez are seeking parity with the Premier League’s top earners before agreeing extensions.
Özil, Arsenal’s record £42.5 million signing, has missed the last three games through illness but is a major part of Wenger’s squad. The 28-year-old has hit nine goals this season and he said Wenger is the main reason he is at Arsenal.
Wenger has been at the helm for over 20 years but his deal expires at the end of the season and Özil is keen to know what the future holds for the Frenchman before he commits beyond 2018.
Özil told German magazine Kicker: “I feel very, very good with Arsenal and have shown my willingness to extend my contract with the club. The fans want me to stay. Now it’s down to the club. The club know that I’m here above all because of Arsène Wenger, who brought me here and whose trust in me I enjoy. The club also know that I want to have clarity about what the manager is doing.”
The German played down talk he was holding out for a bumper pay rise and reacted with indifference to recent comments made by former Arsenal favourite Thierry Henry.
Speaking on Sky Sports before Christmas, Henry said Sánchez and Özil were holding the club “hostage” over their wage demands.
Özil said the club’s all-time record goalscorer does not know enough about the situation to be able to comment. “Everyone has the right to say their views,” he said. “But these comments don’t interest me. Such former players or other people who weigh in with their opinion don’t know what’s actually being said between the club and me.”
Wenger has said he does not want to discuss his future until towards the end of the campaign and has insisted he will not let Özil and Sánchez leave before their contracts expire, even if they end up going for free.