Arsene Wenger Talks Olivier Giroud, Mesut Ozil Before Arsenal vs. West Ham

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistDecember 12, 2017

Arsenal's French manager Arsene Wenger reacts during the English Premier League football match between Southampton and Arsenal at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton, southern England on December 10, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Adrian DENNIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  /         (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
ADRIAN DENNIS/Getty Images

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed that renewed contract talks are under way with Mesut Ozil, while he said he is eager for Olivier Giroud to stay at the Emirates Stadium in the January transfer window.

Speaking ahead of the Gunners' Wednesday trip to West Ham United in the Premier League, the French boss said conversations are ongoing about a new deal for Ozil, whose Arsenal contract expires in June, per the Mirror's Aaron Flanagan: "Negotiations are always going on with everybody. Our door is always open. For the rest, I can not tell you much more."

He also commented on Giroud's role at Arsenal after the French forward's recent admission he would be open to a loan move in January, per French television channel L'Equipe 21 (via football writer Matt Spiro):

The 31-year-old has found his game time limited so far in 2017-18 after the summer signing of Alexandre Lacazette.

He has started all six of the Gunners' UEFA Europa League games but been afforded only 254 minutes in the Premier League, comprising 13 substitute appearances.

However, Wenger said Giroud is "not a sub for me" and is "a very important player" while he made clear he is eager the striker stays until the end of the season, per Flanagan: "Personally, I want him to stay at the club until the end of the season then we will see. When you have three games in six days like this week, there will be an opportunity to start."

Arsenal have dropped five points in their last two Premier League matches, a 3-1 defeat to Manchester United and 1-1 draw with Southampton—Giroud came off the bench to net a late equaliser against Saints on Sunday. 

They now face a West Ham side who ended a six-game winless run on Saturday by beating defending Premier League champions Chelsea 1-0.

Wenger confirmed that Aaron Ramsey and Shkodran Mustafi will both be missing for the visit to the London Stadium, per ESPN FC's Mattias Karen:

Arsenal beat the Hammers comfortably in both their league meetings last season, so Wenger will be hoping his side can get back to winning ways on Wednesday, even with David Moyes' side likely to be high on confidence after their weekend triumph. 

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