Paper Round: Arsene Wenger denies Mesut Ozil Arsenal contract stalemate
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has denied reports that contract negotiations with Mesut Ozil ground to a halt months ago. It’s Thursday’s Paper Round.
Wenger rebuffs Ozil rumours
Paper Round’s view: If reports that Ozil is demanding a salary of £350,000 per week to stay on are true, the Germany international is clearly barking up the wrong tree at Arsenal. But who does he think would pay that much? Still, we suppose if you saved yourself £50 million to land Ozil, you would have a few extra quid to play with.
Mourinho warns Ibrahimovic not to rush return
Jose Mourinho has warned veteran striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic not to hurry back to Manchester United before he is ready, fearing further injury. The former Sweden international’s club career looked all but over earlier this year after he sustained “significant” ligament damage to his knee in the Europa League quarter-final, after which United decided not to extend his contract by a year. Though it was recently announced Ibrahimovic would re-join the squad after recovering more quickly than expected. Mourinho said: “He doesn’t have to be emotional and he doesn’t have to try to make crazy things to improve quicker in his mind…We want him, but we want him in his best condition.”
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been sharing his progress via social mediaEurosport
Paper Round’s view: Now approaching 36 years of age, Ibrahimovic surely proved he was the bionic man after his audacious move to the Premier League last season, scoring 28 goals for his team. Ibrahimovic has certainly proved there’s life in the old dog yet, though United signing him for another year despite his injury, age and their other attacking options does feel somewhat gimmicky. You can’t help but feel this must be Ibrahimovic’s swansong season, let’s hope he ends it on a high.
Wenger warns Wilshere to stay calm against Cologne
And while we’re on the subject of injury concerns… Arsene Wenger has apparently told Jack Wilshere to take it easy after he was included in the North London club’s squad for their Europa League clash with Cologne. The 25-year-old could make his first appearance for Arsenal in 13 months after a loan to Bournemouth last season was cut short by a broken leg back in April. Wenger was reported by The Sun as saying: “There was always huge pressure on him to come back as quickly as possible and to expect a lot. If he can combine the two, keep calm and focus on the job, he is on a good way. If he is injury free, he will come back to his best.”
Paper Round’s view: It was a bit of a shame for Wilshere that he was forced back to Arsenal at all. We don’t mean that in a facetious way, more that the injury-prone midfielder is always in danger of being overlooked at The Emirates, which was not the case at Bournemouth. But if the rumours that other players in the squad are agitating for a change of scenery are true, Wilshere has an opportunity, here. Fingers crossed he’s able to make the most of that.
Everton to make bid for Neymar adversary Ralston
Neymar and Ralston in a heated exchangeReuters
Paper Round’s view: Despite an embarrassing 5-0 defeat by PSG, the received wisdom is that Ralston put in a pretty good effort. And he certainly left Neymar more than a little flustered.