Friday, 13 September 2013

Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger puts success ahead of a new contract at the ... -

Asked if any further contract talks were planned, Wenger said: "There's no need to plan. We are in no hurry. We are in September and my contract finishes in June. There's a long way to go."

Arsenal backed Wenger during the transfer window with a budget in excess of £70?million and, having signed Mesut Özil for £42?million, further funds are available for major signings next year.

Wenger believes that the arrival of Özil has demonstrated that Arsenal are genuinely moving into a new era when they can compete to sign the very best players in the world.

"We had to go through some years when I signed a long-term contract where we had some restricted financial potential," said Wenger.

"The target was to stay in the Champions League in this period and we managed to do it. We are now in a strong position financially."

According to Wenger, his first attempt to sign Özil in the summer of 2010 helped lay the foundations for his deadline day deal this year.

"When Mesut went to Real, we were in touch," he said. "Even then I wanted to get him to Arsenal but it didn't work. That was the start of our relationship. Now the second time it worked. I think the first contact really helped.

"To say it was all under control is a big exaggerated because not a lot was under control. I thought we had a chance to do it, a small one, but we worked very hard on it until the end.

"I looked a bit lonely when I said I was optimistic but in the end it happened. I think it was linked with the Gareth Bale transfer. I was surprised.

"It was very complicated because the timing was short. On Sunday, when I came to the Tottenham game at 2pm, I thought we will manage to do it. I knew we were 90 per cent there."

Wenger already regards Özil among the best players in the world but has now challenged him to develop into "a great" at Arsenal.

"He has all the attributes to be one of the leaders of our team," said Wenger. "He's at a good age. He is 25 in October. There's room now between 25 and 30 for him to become a dominant player.

"There are many players who are very very good. To make the step to being great you have to find the right club, at the right moment. Having the mental dedication is the major difference now."

Wenger intends to play Özil behind Olivier Giroud in his 4-2-3-1 system, with Jack Wilshere taking a deeper-lying central midfield position.

"If you look well at his Mesut's record, his assists are fantastic," said Wenger. "His goalscoring record, there is room for improvement. You expect him in the next years to combine those two together.

"In midfield, Jack Wilshere is more comfortable in deeper positions, and Özil more in a higher position.

"That's why I don't think they conflict. Jack likes to come deep to take the ball and make a difference, and then give and go again. Özil is more behind the striker, higher up on the field."

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