Football

Gunners launch another bid to keep Oezil

German star offered new deal, but ex-Arsenal striker Smith believes he won't stay

Arsenal have not given up hope of keeping Mesut Oezil at the club and are in talks with him again over a contract extension.

The 28-year-old German's current deal runs out at the end of the season and Manchester United have reportedly been keen to sign him on a free transfer in the summer.

At last night's press conference for their match against West Ham tomorrow morning (Singapore time), Wenger reiterated that he wants to keep both Oezil and Alexis Sanchez at the club.

EPL
WEST HAM ARSENAL

When asked about a reported new contract offer for Oezil, Wenger said: "Negotiations are always going on with everybody. Is it two years to go? One year to go? Three months to go?

"The door is always open and for the rest, I cannot tell you much more."

Wenger could have a tough task in convincing Oezil to resist the lure of places such as Old Trafford, though.

In his autobiography, Oezil declared his affection for United manager Jose Mourinho, who helped him launch his career at Real Madrid.

Oezil even turned to the Portuguese to write the foreword for his autobiography.

Former Arsenal striker Alan Smith believes Wenger might not succeed in persuading the duo to extend their contracts.

"I do not think it would persuade them to stay, (even) if they won the Europa League," Smith told Sky Sports.

Wenger could also have trouble keeping Olivier Giroud at the Emirates.

The French striker said he would be open to a loan move away from Arsenal next month, although he knows it's unlikely to happen.

The 31-year-old has not started a game in this season's Premier League, although he had made vital contributions as a substitute.

He came off the bench to score the equaliser in Sunday's 1-1 draw with Southampton, his fourth EPL goal in 13 substitute appearances.

France assistant coach Guy Stephan had warned that Giroud's place at next year's World Cup squad is in jeopardy due to a lack of playing time, and the player is seeking options.

"The reason for me not leaving this summer was partly down to the opportunities that I had," Giroud told L'Equipe. "But at some point, I will have to ask the question again.

"I might not be able to find the right solution... A loan could be an option, but I do not think that Arsenal will want that."

Giroud could have another chance to show Wenger that he deserves a starting spot tomorrow, as they face a West Ham side that had just defeated Chelsea 1-0 last Saturday.

Wenger won't have defender Shkodran Mustafi due to a thigh injury, while midfielder Aaron Ramsey is doubtful with a hamstring problem.

"Mustafi will not be back. He may be fit to face Newcastle on Saturday," Wenger said. "We lost Ramsey against Southampton, everybody else should be available." - WIRE SERVICES

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