Saturday, June 24, 2017

Ozil puts off contract talks to focus on rescuing Arsenal season

SoccerNews in English Premier League 14 Apr 2017

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Arsenal star Mesut Ozil says it would be wrong to think about his future before the end of the season.

The Germany international, like team-mate Alexis Sanchez, has a year left to run on his contract and there have been no breakthroughs over an agreement to extend the deal.

But the 28-year-old wants the focus to be on Arsenal’s fight for a top-four finish and an FA Cup triumph, rather than on the long-term plans of the players or manager Arsene Wenger.

“I think at the moment it would be wrong to really think about that, to go ahead and look at that,” he told Sky Sports.

“At the moment we’re having a more difficult spell and at this stage I’m not important and no other player is important. What’s important is the club.

“We’ve got aims that we want to meet this season. There’s still lots for us to play for. We want to qualify desperately for the Champions League for next season as well.

“So we’ll talk in the summer and we’ll clear things then but for the moment, all that’s important is Arsenal and not me and not any other player – it’s just the club.

“What we need to do is fight, to do what we can. It’s not just about the boss or the fans – it’s about the whole club and playing for the whole club.”

Wenger’s future remains unclear amid increasingly loud voices of discontent from Gunners fans and poor results on the pitch.

A 3-0 defeat to Crystal Palace on Monday means sixth-place Arsenal are seven points off the top four with only eight matches left to play.

Ozil insists that Wenger “deserves respect for what he has achieved here” but concedes that he has little influence on the manager’s future.

“As players, you can’t pick your coach. You can’t decide who manages the club,” he added.

Arsenal face Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium on Monday.

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