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Arsenal: Midfielder close to new deal; Sanchez to start; youngster hails Gunners

This international break has been filled with bad injury news for Arsenal fans, but Mesut Ozil’s new contract could give them cause to celebrate. According to a report in the Daily Mirror by Arsenal regular John Cross, Ozil is closing in on a new deal that will make him the highest-paid player in the history of the club. Ozil was given this international break off by Germany head coach Joachim Low, and has been locked in talks with the club. The former Real Madrid midfielder’s new contract could take his salary to £200,000 per week, a £60,000 increase on his current deal. Ozil has been in excellent form this season, which has only strengthened his negotiating position. Earlier this week it was revealed he is about to buy a new £10 million house in north London, which suggested a deal was imminent. The Mirror’s report reads:

“The Germany international signed from Real Madrid three years ago is happy in England and wants to stay if the deal is right, having also bought a new £10 million house in London.

“Arsenal have already tied down right-back Hector Bellerin on a six-year deal, and Ozil looks set to be next in line with the pen.

“But there is less certainty over forward Alexis Sanchez , who also has 18 months left.”

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All through this process there have been noises that Ozil’s case was more straightforward than Sanchez’s. The conflict of interest between Arsenal and Chile over his muscular injury during this international break is a further complication. Wenger’s relationship with Sanchez has reportedly had its difficulties; with the Frenchman growing frustrated by the former Barcelona forward’s refusal to rest properly. That said, sometimes these situations can create their own momentum, and it might be easier to reach an agreement with Sanchez with Ozil and Bellerin already signed up.

On the subject of Sanchez’s fitness, Chile manager Juan Antonio Pizzi has confirmed that he will play against Uruguay this evening. The Arsenal man pulled out of training last week with a ‘low grade muscular’ problem, but has returned to training in the last few days with heavy strapping on the upper part of his right leg. The Gunners travel to Manchester United on Saturday, but must hope that Sanchez doesn’t do further damage tonight. Whatever happens, it seems likely he will miss Saturday’s game, but the possibility of missing weeks rather than months is weighing heavily on Wenger’s mind. He said it would be ‘suicidal’ for Sanchez to play against Uruguay. Pizzi said:

“Sánchez is one hundred percent. He’s trained well. At no time have we received pressure from any club. Not Arsenal or Bayern [Vidal’s club]. The health of the players is paramount, we are very responsible. We do not risk to anyone who is not in a position to play.”

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Finally, Serge Gnabry has been speaking about how his time at Arsenal made him the player he is today. Gnabry scored a hat trick on his Germany debut against San Marino, but left north London to join Werder Bremen in the summer. Having burst onto the scene in 2013-14, Gnabry suffered a serious knee injury. Arsenal stood by him, even through a difficult loan spell at West Bromwich Albion. Loyalty is a two-way street though, and it seems the German youngster was impatient to play first-team football.

Featured image: All rights reserved by Emrah Partal

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