Arsenal are reportedly open to the prospect of running down the contract of midfielder Mesut Ozil such that they can focus on renewing deals for the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Reiss Nelson and Bukayo Saka.
Ozil, 31, has struggled to impress since putting pen-to-paper on a three-and-a-half year contract with the Gunners in February 2018 and in the current campaign, he has contributed just one goal and two assists from 18 Premier League appearances.
Of course, his performances have improved under the guidance of Mikel Arteta during the backend of the season but he has still failed to make regular goalscoring contributions, which is expected from a player of his calibre.
The German has just 15 months remaining on his existing deal with the club but it appears that the hierarchy have no plans of extending his stay at the moment, considering there are several other players, whose contracts expire at the end of next season.
According to The Sun, as relayed by The Express, the club are set to prioritise contract negotiations with Aubameyang, Saka and Nelson, and only then, they may consider the future of Ozil, who has no plans of leaving the club before June 2021, as per his agent.
Aubameyang has undoubtedly been the standout performer for the north London side since his move from Borussia Dortmund two years ago and he has contributed 61 goals and 13 assists from just 97 games in all competitions.
The Gabon international has recently said that he is ‘really happy‘ with the treatment from the club’s supporters and the board will need to do their utmost to secure his long-term future or consider his sale during the summer.
There is the option of keeping the striker beyond the summer with the hope of convincing him over the renewal but that appears unlikely to happen with the club having witnessed the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere leave for nothing in recent years.
Meanwhile, Saka has been one of the club’s top-performing players this season despite his tender age. The 18-year-old is primarily a left-wing by trade but he has mostly played in a left-back position this term to compensate for the injuries to Sead Kolasinac and Kieran Tierney.
Saka has contributed three goals and nine assists across all competitions and the Gunners will be hoping to commit the youngster to a contract extension at the earlier possibility, considering the likes of Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund are keeping tabs on his situation.
Nelson, on the other hand, has probably been underused this term but that has resulted from a couple of untimely injuries (knee and hamstring). The 20-year-old has bagged just two goals and three assists from 16 outings this season. Still, there is plenty of potential in the versatile winger, who possesses raw pace, quick dribbling skills and the ability to put in a decent cross.
- Morning Mix: Arsenal boss under pressure, Tuchel proves his worth
- The race for the top four: Will Leicester slip up again?
- Premier League Matchday 35 Predictions
- What it’s like supporting a Non-League club
- How Jose Mourinho’s arrival could see Roma’s new owners realise their ambitions
- Arsenal’s future on the line on Thursday
- A History of Fan Protests: From Liverpool to Barcelona
- UK sport backs social media boycott, but not everyone reads the memo
- We need to be loud not silent to end social media abuse
- The Big Six is dead – Long live the Big Five