Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil believes the club has made him a “bigger” player since joining from Real Madrid five years ago.
The 29-year-old – whose contract expires in the summer – has recently been linked with Manchester United and Barcelona, although Arsene Wenger insists no approach has been made from either club.
Like his team-mate Alexis Sanchez, Ozil has yet to agree fresh terms with the club and Wenger remains determined that both will not be sold in January – even though the pair could then walk away for free in the summer.
Both are likely to be involved when Arsenal and Chelsea meet at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday.
Speaking at a mock press conference set up by Sky Sports with children from the Young Gunners fan club, Ozil was asked why he decided to join Arsenal, and he replied: “Because of the history and the amazing players. I’m here to learn, to grow up and to show my talent for this club.
“This club has made me bigger. I’m so proud to play for a big club like Arsenal.”
While Sanchez came close to moving to Manchester City in the last transfer window, Wenger is confident Ozil is where he wants to be.
“I believe he wants to stay, he is not to be convinced [to sign a new contract],” said Wenger.
“You want nobody to leave and you see where we stand on that. But at the moment, it’s very difficult.
“Until the end of the season we know what it is, but after that, I cannot tell you.”