Ozil speaks out on Arsenal contract negotiations

Arsenal are reported to be ready to offer Mesut Ozil a much-improved contract to remain at Emirates Stadium beyond his existing deal.

Mesut Ozil will switch focus back to contract talks with Arsenal once the international break is over, with the Germany star revealing negotiations had already begun.

The 27-year-old still has two years to run on his deal, but is expected to be handed a significant pay increase to extend his stay at Emirates Stadium.

Ozil, who also spoke of his wish to assume the number 10 role with the Gunners, told German newspaper Express: "I have a contract until 2018. We have had discussions, but they were suspended for the European Championship.

"I wanted to focus at this time only on the national team. Now we look to continue the negotiations."

Ozil got the opportunity to wear the 10 shirt for Germany after former Gunners' star Lukas Podolski's retirement and he is eager to do the same domestically.

With Jack Wilshere having gone on loan to Bournemouth, Ozil feels he is primed to seize the opportunity.

"It has become free and I will definitely have it," he added.

"I did a few years ago have this number, but Lukas Podolski wanted it. He had more matches than I did. Now I have access. 

"Of course I've previously given those in charge [at Arsenal] a signal. The number is right for me and my position as playmaker.

"For me, the number means a lot. It is my favourite number. Football legends such as Zinedine Zidane, Diego Maradona or Pele have had this number on their back."

Ozil scored as Arsenal secured their first win of the Premier League season at Watford last weekend. He is part of Joachim Low's squad for Germany's World Cup qualifier against Norway on Sunday.