Arsène Wenger has revealed that contract talks with Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil have “slowed down”, rather than having stopped entirely as reports previously alleged.

When asked about whether he was hopeful that Özil would signed a new deal, Wenger responded: “Yes, of course. The contract talks have slowed down a little bit since August 31, because we need a little breather and to focus on the competition. But we will slowly get back into that,” reports the Express.

Last season, the contract talks were apparently on hold until the summer. Then, over the summer when Özil was on the pre-season tour, Wenger told reporters via BBC Sport: “once everyone is back in London, we will sit down and discuss the future”.

Now back in London and more than two months after those comments, the talks are once again apparently slowing down, rather than coming to a resolution.

Soon it will be January and Özil will be able to sign a pre-contract agreement with a foreign club. I think many sides would like to pick up Arsenal’s £42m signing for free. You’d think the club would want to do everything but slow down negotiations at this point, in my opinion.

But then again, the Gunners did let Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Özil, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere and Wojciech Szczesny all get down to one year left on their contracts this summer. As a result, two players have left, and the other four could easily decide they want out next year with Arsenal having no power to stop them.