Arsene Wenger has admitted for the first time he may sell Mesut Ozil in January if he fails to commit to a new deal at Arsenal.
Wenger is desperate to keep the Germany World Cup winner at the club beyond his existing contract which runs out at the end of the season.
And yesterday Ozil’s agent revealed the playmaker has held positive talks about a new deal and is keen to stay in the Premier League.
But Gunners boss Wenger says if no agreement is reached before the transfer window opens in the New Year he may have to sell him mid-season.
The prospect of losing the £42.5million signing from Real Madrid on a free transfer is too much for Wenger to contemplate with Alexis Sanchez also running down his deal.
Asked if claims Ozil could be sold in January were true, Wenger said: “We have envisaged every solution, it is possible we might sell in January.
“I haven’t set a deadline on when things need to be signed yet.”
Wenger was yesterday asked about the claims from Ozil’s representative Erkut Sogut that Ozil wanted to stay in England.
Wenger, also referencing Chile star Sanchez, said: “Yes, that is a fair assessment. I have always said the fact that we didn’t find an agreement last year doesn’t mean they will leave.
“Both players look happy here, overall I hope the situation can be turned round.
“At the moment we are not close enough to announce anything.”
Italian giants Inter Milan have already admitted they would be interested in signing the 28-year-old if he became available.
But there is also interest closer to home with Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho also keen to link up with the player he worked with at Real Madrid.
Wenger would be hugely reluctant to sell to a Premier League rival, especially during a mid-season break.
But Ozil does have the option of running down his contract until the end of the season and moving elsewhere on a free transfer next summer.