Mesut Ozil looks “ready to commit” to a new Arsenal contract, says Arsene Wenger, with the Gunners boss cautiously optimistic that a deal will be done.
The Germany international is yet to extend his stay at Emirates Stadium past the end of the season and will drop into the free agent pool this summer if no fresh terms are agreed.
Arsenal have already seen Alexis Sanchez head through the exits after failing to resolve his future, and the Premier League heavyweights are eager to avoid a repeat with another key figure.
Wenger believes a compromise will be reached with Ozil, with the 29-year-old playmaker having offered no indication that he is looking to move on.
Asked for an update on talks at a press conference on Friday, the French coach said: “Our intention is to keep Ozil at the club. Hopefully, we will manage to do that very soon.
“Not close enough to be optimistic but not far enough to be pessimistic.
“The vibe I get from his commitment, focus and desire, he behaves like someone who is ready to commit. After that, contract negotiations are what they are.
“We aren’t close enough to tell you yes, he will stay.”
Another of those set to be out of contract this summer is Santi Cazorla.
The Spanish midfielder has been out of action since October 2016 and recently revealed that a 10th operation on his troublesome ankle is likely to keep him sidelined until 2019.
Wenger said on the 33-year-old’s fitness struggles: “He was expected to be back in now.
“He had a new surgery. I am not informed about his medical situation. I wished him well about two weeks ago but he hasn’t come back yet.
“Medical people know better than I do if he will play again in 2018.
“It will be hard for him. We love him and he is a great footballer but you need to be right to play at the intensity of the Premier League.”
Pressed on whether a return to action could see Cazorla offered another short-term deal, Wenger added: “It depends on his medical availability at the top level.
“If he is fit, yes. If he isn’t, then we have to see.”