Man United Linked Arsenal Star Close To Extending Emirates Stay Says Alan Smith

Arsenal star Mesut Ozil could end up staying on at the club after-all according to Gunners legend Alan Smith.

The former Arsenal player revealed that Ozil is actually close to signing a new contract despite being linked with a move to Manchester United.

The Independent report that United want Alexis Sanchez and Ozil.

The playmaker of Turkish origin will be a free agent at the end of the season unless he signs a new contract deal.

Talks between Ozil and Arsenal are however, ongoing according to Smith and a deal is near.

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“My sources tell me he is quite close to signing a new contract,” Smith told Premier League Daily. “We’ve not heard much on that and it sounds like negotiations have gone on behind the scenes and he will sign.

“He’s been a different player the last couple of months when he’s been fit. He’s really been putting in a shift, he looks energised, more enthusiasm than he did have and he looks the player that we all think he can be on a consistent basis.”

Smith did however, reveal he is concerned that Ozil could be playing well to win a lucrative new deal.

“If he does sign you just want him to continue that. You hope he is not playing in this fashion because he wants to win a new contract,” he added.

“He’s a top player and to lose Sanchez is bad enough but if you lost Ozil as well, that bit of creativity, it would almost be a mortal blow, a real kick in the teeth for Arsenal.”

Smith feels that Alexis Sanchez leaving could actually strengthen Ozil’s hand in negotiating a new deal.

“He’s of that personality where sometimes he will just go down into a little bit of a lull and that’s where he does need a kick up the backside from a manager to keep him going and from team-mates as well on the pitch,” Smith added.

“Arsene Wenger really isn’t that type to give him a rocket so I don’t think that’s helped him and it has not helped the team. He’s definitely got it in him but whether he will perform to that level week-in-week-out is another matter.

“Almost Ozil has been in a good position in that he knows Sanchez is going, he’s in a good negotiating position as far as when his people talk to Arsenal to get a deal.”

Ozil has been in fine form recently, picking up two player of the month awards over November and December.

The 2014 World Cup winner has four goals and five assists in all competitions for the Gunners this season.