Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed that the club are in talks to extend Mesut Ozil’s contract.
“Talks are going well,” Wenger said during his pre-match press conference on Thursday ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash against Watford.
“That is my understanding (that he wants to stay). The fact that we didn’t find agreement last year doesn’t mean he wants to leave.
“The player looks happy. At the present time there is no deal close for me to announce.”
Wenger’s stars Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey are both going to miss out on the 2018 World Cup after Chile and Wales lost in their qualifiers over the past week.
On Sanchez, Wenger said: “I will have to speak to him. He got some special treatment in a very physical game (against Brazil) and mentally I’ll have to assess the situation.
“I believe he and Ramsey are winners and will want to focus on winning things. When you don’t have the World Cup you focus on your club.”
Wenger added that Germany defender Shkodran Mustafi will not be fit until after the next international break in November while hoping Laurien Koscielny will step in.
On Watford manager Marco Silva, 40, who will lead his team out against Arsenal, Wenger said: “He has impressed. Watford play good football. He has done very well.”
Wenger then praised Jack Wishere who is knocking on the first-team door after spending last season on loan at Bournemouth.
“Jack is in the best form I’ve seen him in for a long time,” Wenger said.
“Jack can open space, he can play in tight areas and can get out of them.
“He doesn’t have to leave Arsenal to get to the World Cup. In the best form I have seen him for a long time.
“If he keeps playing as he is he will go to the World Cup. I wish he goes to the World Cup.”
Wenger then suggested a tweak to the Christmas programme.
He said: “We have to adapt to the schedule but if it happens personally the game should be played no later than 2pm.
“You call me a traditionalist. Personally, I would prefer to be at home on Christmas Eve and celebrate but that could still happen if we play early on the day.
“You wouldn’t want to sacrifice an evening with the family.
“We move to a society where religion isn’t considered anymore in any decision and people want to watch football in the Christmas period.”
Wenger also revealed that former Arsenal midfielder Marc Overmars will not be returning to the club as Director of Football.
He said: “At the moment he is at Ajax and we have been in touch but he has no Director of Football role here at the moment.”