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Mesut Ozil has revealed the one thing that finally convinced him to sign his new Arsenal contract.
Negotiations over a new deal for the German dragged on for well over a year and the expectation was that Ozil would move on in the summer.
But, just five months before his deal was due to expire, Ozil decided to extend his stay in north London – penning an extension which will keep him at the Emirates until 2021.
The deal will see the former Real Madrid man become the highest paid player in Arsenal’s history, with some reports suggesting he will take home as much as £350,000 a week.
But when explaining why he had decided to sign on at the Emirates, Ozil insisted in the end it all came down to how he felt in his heart.
“It’s been one of the most important decisions of my footballing career and that’s why I had to think hard and talk with everyone who’s important to me,” said the 28-year-old.
“Good things take time! In the end I let my heart decide. As I always said, I feel at home here and I’m highly motivated to achieve big things in the next few years. Once a Gunner, always a Gunner!”
Reports Ozil had agreed to extend his stay in north London emerged on Wednesday morning and the former Real Madrid man finally put Arsenal fans out of their misery last week – confirming the news they had all been waiting for by posted a picture of himself signing the contract with Arsene Wenger on Instagram.
Ozil’s former contract was due to expire in the summer and many expected the 29-year-old to follow Alexis Sanchez out of the Emirates exit doors.
The playmaker has always maintained he is happy in London but it was known that many of Europe’s top club were keeping tabs on his contract situation.
Reports in Germany have suggested that Ozil rejected moves to three different European giants, as well as a money spinning offer from China before committing his future to Arsenal.
SportBild claim that the attacker turned down interest from Manchester United, Barcelona and Paris Saint Germain to stay at the Emirates.
He also turned his back on an offer from Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande which would have seen him pocket an incredible £22 million a year.
The news will come as a huge boost to Arsene Wenger following on from the high profile additions of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during the January transfer window.