Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil claims to be waiting for clarity on the future of embattled manager Arsene Wenger before re-committing to the club.
The German international’s contract comes to an end within a year and recent efforts on both his and the club’s part to finalise a new agreement have been unsuccessful.
Now, following a period of intense speculation over Wenger’s own future with the Gunners, Ozil has hinted that his loyalty may lie more with the Frenchman than with the club.
“It’s not just important for me but for the whole club,” Ozil told the Daily Mail. “It’s important to know if he stays or if he goes. We need to think towards next season.
“He’s very important,” the 28-year old continued. “In my career I’ve always made decisions not just because of clubs but managers, too.
“As a footballer, it’s important to have the manager’s trust and believe they can develop you.
“When I went from Madrid to Arsenal, I came for him because I told him at the time he’d be my first option. That was the case. We still have a super understanding today.
“I have his trust, he’s a superb coach. He’s been successful for many years, he’s been here for 20 years and has always managed to get Arsenal to reach the Champions League, making Arsenal a big club. He deserves to be shown respect.”
He went on to suggest that Arsenal’s current failings are likely to have less to do with the manager’s shortcomings and more with the lack of strength in the squad.
“I think the club know they need to strengthen,” he said. “But what’s most important is the manager’s opinion. He and the club will make the decision.
‘When you look at our squad, it’s not as broad as Bayern’s or Real Madrid’s. In the Champions League, that’s not enough, especially against big teams, because they have more breadth in their squad,” he added.