I have little bearing on Ozil deal, says Wenger

LONDON • Arsene Wenger has insisted that his own future will not form the "main part" of Mesut Ozil's decision as to whether to extend his contract.

The German international is, alongside Alexis Sanchez, one of two key Arsenal players whose contracts at the club have 18 months left to run.

The renewal of any deal has been the subject of much debate this season and Ozil gave an interview earlier this week in which he said his future would depend on whether Wenger stayed at the Emirates.

Yesterday the Arsenal manager played the remarks down.

"I think (the interview) has been a bit misinterpreted," Wenger said. "He would like to know what happens on the managerial front but I don't think that is the main part of his decision.

"It's not the only thing. There are many other ingredients in any negotiation and hopefully we will find a conclusion very quickly."

It is thought that Ozil is closer to agreeing terms with Arsenal than Sanchez, but Wenger refused to put a time frame on negotiations.

In other transfer news, Wenger rejected reports that Arsenal had bid for Italian international striker Andrea Belotti.

He did however concede that full-back Carl Jenkinson could leave the club.

Arsenal go to league strugglers Swansea today and they will have Ozil back after illness ruled him out of the past three games.

Injured Hector Bellerin and Francis Coquelin will not be available but Wenger said "they can make next week, they are not far".

Fresh from signing a new contract, Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny has demanded his team-mates ramp up their performances, with the team eight points off leaders Chelsea.

"We need to push more," said the defender. "We want to win together so we will do everything we can to succeed."

Paul Clement will take charge of Swansea for the first time in the league with his side a point from safety.

The former Derby manager completed his first piece of transfer business with the £4 million (S$6.9 million) signing of PSV Eindhoven winger Luciano Narsingh but a calf injury rules him out.

"If the players execute what they have been doing in training and concentrate on the things I have talked to them about, we will have a chance," said Clement.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 14, 2017, with the headline 'I have little bearing on Ozil deal, says Wenger'. Print Edition | Subscribe