Arsenal Transfer News: Mesut Ozil Responds to Gunners Exit Talk, Latest Rumours

Matt Jones@@MattJFootballFeatured ColumnistMarch 22, 2016

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 02:  Mesut Ozil of Arsenal in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Swansea City at Emirates Stadium on March 2, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil has emphatically denied suggestions that he wants out of the Emirates Stadium unless manager Arsene Wenger is sacked.  

As reported by the Daily Mirror on Tuesday, Spanish outlet Don Balon had made the claims. However, the Germany international took to Twitter to rubbish the report:

Ozil has been the Gunners’ standout player this season, providing a creative fulcrum for the team’s attacking play. Already, the midfielder has five goals and a whopping 18 assists in the Premier League this term.

Despite his importance to the team, there have been reports linking the playmaker with a move away from the club. According to Luis F. Rojo of Marca, Ozil’s agent has been in touch with Barcelona about a transfer at the end of the season, with the 27-year-old said to not be too keen on extending his contract with the Gunners, which runs to 2018.

It’d be little surprise if a team like Barca were indeed interested in a player with such sharp cerebral instincts. As Squawka Football note here, the midfielder is one of the most dangerous attacking players in the division:

Regardless of the transfer talk, it seems unlikely Ozil is unhappy working under a manager such as Wenger.

Arsenal's German midfielder Mesut Ozil (L) and French manager Arsene Wenger (R) speak during a team training session for the forthcoming UEFA Champions League Group F football match against SSC Napoli at Arsenal's London Colney training ground in north Lo
GLYN KIRK/Getty Images

While the Frenchman does have his flaws, his ability to get the best out of technical and intricate players such as the club’s record signing has never been doubted. After two iffy seasons to begin life in English football, Wenger has facilitated a system to get the best from the German, who is now at the crux of all their attacking forays.

Of course, a player of Ozil’s talent will be keen to challenge for the biggest honours on the continent, and at the moment, Arsenal are not a team who look capable of doing so. However, any ultimatums about a manager who has enriched his game seem out of character and have been confirmed as such by the man himself.

Arsenal have reportedly held talks with Xhaka.
Arsenal have reportedly held talks with Xhaka.CHRISTOF STACHE/Getty Images

Elsewhere, the Gunners are reportedly ready to part with a whopping €50 million to land Borussia Monchengladbach’s midfield dynamo, Granit Xhaka. That’s according to Bild (h/t Sport Witness), who suggest the 23-year-old’s father has already met with Wenger to discuss a potential move to the club in the summer. 

Xhaka, a Swiss international, has been one of the standout midfielders in the Bundesliga this season playing in a lung-busting, box-to-box style. As these statistics show from Squawka Football, he’s definitely a multifaceted footballer:

Arsenal may look as though they’ll finally have to admit defeat in any pursuit of Napoli man Gonzalo Higuain, with reports suggesting the Partenopei are poised to offer him a new deal with the club.

That’s according to La Repubblica (h/t James Gray of the Daily Express), who suggest the Serie A side have readied a two-year extension for the Argentina international. Gray said that Arsenal may go back in for the forward this summer, although Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool are also sniffing around the player.

NAPLES, ITALY - MARCH 20:  Gonzalo Higuain of Napoli celebrates after scoring his team's second goal goal during the Serie A match between SSC Napoli and Genoa CFC at Stadio San Paolo on March 20, 2016 in Naples, Italy.  (Photo by Maurizio Lagana/Getty Im
Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images

Here is a look at some of the highlights of a remarkable season from Higuain, who has helped propel Napoli to within touching distance of the Serie A summit:

While some of the goals in the clip are pretty special, the numbers behind this fabulous season for Higuain also make for excellent reading, per beIN Sports’ Matteo Bonetti:

The heart of their midfield and the point of their attack are two areas Arsenal will surely seek to address in the summer. They’re key positions in the side that have often let the Gunners down in pursuit of the top honours, with robustness in the middle and ruthlessness up front scarce in recent seasons.

Xhaka and Higuain would certainly be fine solutions, although at this juncture, the former certainly looks a lot more gettable than the latter. Higuain may be in spectacular form, but he’s 28, and it would take a lot of money to prise him away from Naplesmoney you suspect Wenger would not be willing to part with.