Arsenal are reportedly still hopeful Mesut Ozil will sign a new deal, and club insiders believe a "breakthrough in negotiations" is close, with the Gunners willing to sell in January if he hasn't signed a new contract.
According to a report from The Sun's Daniel Cutts, contract negotiations between Ozil and the club have been ongoing for more than a year, and time is running out, with the Gunners setting a Christmas deadline.
Ozil seemed certain to leave, but there appears to be renewed hope at the Emirates Stadium, even as transfer speculation ramps up.
The Germany international will become a free agent in the summer, so he can sign a pre-contract with foreign clubs as soon as the January transfer window opens. Per Cutts, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will opt to cash in, rather than lose him for free if he doesn't sign a new deal.
Cutts also stated Ozil is looking for wages of £140,000 per week and a significant signing bonus. The club's asking price in case of a sale would be upwards of £15 million.
While a departure previously seemed inevitable, Arsenal fans and pundits alike have grown a little more positive in the last few weeks.
The Sun previously published this take from a blogger, urging the Gunners to focus all of their energy on the former Real Madrid man:
Ozil is the team's main creative force in midfield and attack, standing out for his uncanny ability to find the right pass. The 29-year-old has bagged five Premier League assists this season and is well on pace to do better than he did last year, with nine in total. In the 2015-16 campaign, he provided a remarkable 19 assists.
He's the kind of player that would make just about any team better, and United legend Rio Ferdinand would love to see him move to Old Trafford, per BT Sport's official YouTube channel:
Ozil has been a frequent target of criticism during his time in north London, but as an expert provider, his output is dependent on his team-mates. Ozil needs his fellow forwards to finish chances and put themselves in a great position―he won't carry a poor team or make them better, but he can push a good team over the top.
Getting him to sign a new deal after such lengthy negotiations would be a major coup for the Gunners―at the least, they could hold out for a significant sum if the two parties do decide to part ways at some point in the future.
A transfer still seems the more likely outcome at this stage, but there's plenty of time left to change that.