Hamburg have shown they're committed to keeping teen starlet Hakan Calhanoglu out of Premier League clutches this winter after it emerged the Bundesliga outfit will offer their youngster a new contract.
As things stand, the 19-year-old's deal will expire in the summer of 2016, but TMW (h/t talkSPORT) has quoted the club's sporting director, Oliver Kreuzer, saying they are seeking to agree an extension:
We want to extend his contract until 2018. We know he appeals to many clubs, but he's alright here in Hamburg and he sees his immediate future with us and not with other clubs. We are optimistic about reaching an agreement.
As if having the real deal wasn't enough, Jefferson's report likens the youngster to Arsenal's Mesut Ozil, but with a wealth of creative talent already present at the Emirates, it's difficult to see where Calhanoglu would fit in.
In that case, Brendan Rodgers' side look a more suitable option for the teenager, although competing with the talents of Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson is in itself a significant task.
Calhanoglu is enjoying a breakout campaign at the Imtech Arena, earning 15 Bundesliga appearances, scoring four goals and making two assists, per Transfermarkt.co.uk.
Despite his age, the attacking midfielder has found it increasingly easy to hold his own in the German top flight, showing the kind of talent that Hamburg are eager to make their own for as long as possible.
Bundesliga commentator Norwegian Musings recently alleged that Hamburg have already turned down a €10 million offer for their youngster:
Galatasaray made an offer for Hakan Calhanoglu which was above 10 million Euros acc to Hamburger Abendblatt, but HSV rejected it.— Norwegian Musings (@normusings) September 24, 2013
It was a similar story for Samed Yesil, who shot to prominence as a part of Bayer Leverkusen's youth setup before Liverpool snapped him up 18 months ago, although injury has halted the German Under-19's progress somewhat.
While Hamburg's season may not be going strictly to plan—they are currently just five points away from a relegation playoff spot—Calhanoglu has been a consistent cog in the team's performances.
The player recently commented on speculation linking him with Arsenal, per the Mail Online:
Hamburg wonderkid Hakan Calhanoglu has welcomed interest from Arsenal: 'It is a great honour.'— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) December 13, 2013
According to Squawka, only Rafael van der Vaart has created more scoring chances than the Turkish international this season, with Calhanoglu crafting no less than 28 opportunities himself.
Rodgers' Reds have started the season magnificently and still find themselves in the hunt for Premier League silverware, but depth is what often gets a team to the finish line.
In a bid to strengthen his squad's ranks, the Northern Irishman will seek to cut a deal before Hamburg can convince their playmaker of staying, but Hamburg have swiftly made clear they are not looking to sell.