Ozil: My Arsenal future does not depend on Wenger
Like boss Arsene Wenger, Mesut Ozil has come in for sustained criticism at Arsenal recently but is still open to signing a new contract.
Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil claims "everything is open" regarding a new deal at Emirates Stadium and insists the future of boss Arsene Wenger will not define his own.
Germany international Ozil is out of contract at the end of next season and the possibility of himself and star forward Alexis Sanchez penning lucrative fresh terms in north London has been a consistent narrative over recent months, as Arsenal's form on the field has faded.
Ozil's dwindling performances have mirrored those of the team as a whole, bringing the 28-year-old in for considerable criticism, while long-serving boss Wenger was the subject of fan marches before this week's matches against Bayern Munich and Lincoln City that called for him to step down.
Despite this turbulence, the former Werder Bremen and Real Madrid star has not ruled out remaining with the Premier League side having already held contract talks.
"Everything is open. We had talks with Arsenal. Right now I concentrate on the current season," Ozil told Bild.
"Arsene Wenger was one of the main reasons I joined Arsenal. But I know that sometimes things go very fast in football and that you can never plan something.
"This is why it would be wrong to say that my future depends on my coach."
As for the scrutiny of his own game, 2014 World Cup winner Ozil insists this is nothing new.
"Criticism accompanies me since the start of my career," he said. "I polarise - in Bremen, in Madrid, in the national team and now in London.
"Of course it's not pleasant, but I am more thick-skinned today. I try to not let this get to me.
"I am a World Cup champion and I will always be."
Bayern completed a humbling 10-2 aggregate defeat of Arsenal in the last-16 of the Champions League on Tuesday, running out 5-1 winners in London, but Ozil has not given up on achieving European glory with his current employers.
"You are never satisfied as a sportsman," he added. "You need the motivation.
"I want to win the Champions League one day, preferably with Arsenal. I have one more year on my contract here."