Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted that the club have not made progress in contractual negotiations with Mesut Ozil.

The Germany international has less than 10 months left on his present Gunners deal, and this has led to suggestions that he could leave the club on a free this summer.

Prior to the Gunners’ Europa League opener against Koln, Wenger revealed that the club have slowed down talks with the World Cup winner, but he is hopeful of committing his attacker to a fresh contract, he said: “Yes, of course (I am hopeful). The contract talks have slowed down a little bit since August 31. We need a little breather and to focus on the competition. But we will slowly get back into that.”

Ozil has received a lot of stick for his performances this season with the likes of Ian Wright and Martin Keown questioning his desire to play for the club. The 28-year-old has since come up with a personal request urging the club’s legends to ‘stop talking and start supporting’, but this has not gone well with Wright, in particular, who has hit back at the German for stalling on an extension.

Wenger has confirmed that the likes of Ozil and Aaron Ramsey will play no part in the Gunners’ Europa League opener against Koln as the pair require a midweek rest following their exploits for Germany and Wales respectively in the recent World Cup qualifiers.

The move is likely to be beneficial for a couple of fringe players including Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott, whose careers at Arsenal are hanging in the balance. While Walcott has been in the matchday squads of late, Wilshere has hardly got his name on the teamsheet, and he will be desperate to prove himself in the Europa League at least in order to earn a fresh contract beyond next summer.