Talks continue between Arsenal and influential playmaker Mesut Ozil over an extended contract at Emirates Stadium, says manager Arsene Wenger.
Ozil continued his stellar form this season with a hat-trick in Wednesday’s 6-0 demolition of Ludogorets in the Champions League.
The 28-year-old, like forward Alexis Sanchez, is out of contract in 2018 and Wenger urged his club to match the duo’s ambitions in terms of winning major honours to secure their long-term futures.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s Premier League match against Middlesbrough, the Frenchman said dialogue remained open.
“We are always in touch and that’s our desire,” said Wenger. “Mesut Ozil is 28 years old. He is in the prime of his career. We want him to contribute to the success of the club in the future.
“They want to be happy. They are happy at the club and I want them to commit to the club because I believe they are in the right place.”
Ozil has long established himself as Arsenal’s creator-in-chief, but his Champions League treble moved him on to six goals for the season and Wenger is keen to see further progress on that front.
“He works quite well in finishing in training,” he said. “I believe that every player gets in the habit of having a division of his game and doesn’t get out of boundaries that he has fixed himself.
“He experienced his game as a provider, but I think he is slowly getting the taste to think, ‘maybe I can finish as well’.
“We want him to add that to his game because there is no reason why he should not finish and score.
“Hopefully the fact that he scored on Wednesday night can help that desire.”
Santi Cazorla will be assessed having taken a kick in midweek before deciding whether he can line up behind Ozil in midfield.
Striker Olivier Giroud (toe) could return in the EFL Cup tie against Reading in midweek, while Wales international Aaron Ramsey (hamstring) is targeting next weekend’s trip to Sunderland.
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